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Full text of "Voyages of the Northmen to America. Including extracts from Icelandic sagas relating to western voyages by Northmen in the tenth and eleventh centuries, in an English translation by North Ludlow Beamish; with a synopsis of the historical evidence and the opinion of Professor Rafn as to the places visited by the Scandinavians on the coast of America"

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vMt imn 'tor/ 


\tf l'NIVER 




fhifcitcations of ttje prince |s>octetp, 

Eftabliflied May 25th, 1858. 









fcC 105 













Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 







HE hiftorical interefl which attaches to the 
voyages of the Northmen to America in the 
tenth and eleventh centuries has led the Coun- 
cil of the Prince Society to believe that the 
character of thefe voyages, as fet forth and 
delineated in the original Icelandic fagas, or ancient Scan- 
dinavian manufcripts, mould be rendered acceffible to the 
members of the Society in an Englifh tranflation. The 
excellent verfion of Mr. Beamifh, long fmce out of print, 
has been ufed for this purpofe. To this has been added 
Profeffor Rafn's fynopfis of the hiftorical evidence contained 
in the fagas, and his attempt to identify the places on our 
coaft vifited by the Northmen. 

The introduction contains an account of the firft publica- 
tion of the fagas by the Royal Society of Northern Anti- 
quaries, and the views of the editor as to the credibility of 
thefe manufcripts as hiftorical documents. 

As the text of this volume contains all that may be con- 
fidered as truftworthy evidence relating to the vifits of the 
Northmen to this country, it is confidently hoped that it 
will prove to be not the leaft valuable of the Society's 



MAP OF VINLAND Frontifpiece. 

















INDEX 153 

IO Introduction. 

workers were appointed to each, felecled with reference to 
their fpecial taftes and learning. The fruits of thefe labors 
were prolific ; and in the progrefs of a few years more 
than forty volumes were iffued, befides gazettes and annual 
reports, dealing with early Scandinavian life, manners, and 
cuftoms, in their multiform conditions and phafes. 

In 1837, Profeffor Charles Chriftian Rafn, who had been 
placed at the head of the feclion on the voyages to America, 
publifhed, under the aufpices of the Society, an elaborate 
report, in a volume entitled " Antiquitates Americanae," an 
imperial quarto of 526 pages, richly embellimed with 
numerous illuftrations and maps, comprifmg fac-fimiles of 
the moft important parchment codices, which had been 
taken as the bafis of the work. In this volume, the treat- 
ment of the whole fubject is thorough and fcholarly. 
While it is never fafe to affume that the treatment of any 
hiftorical queftion is abfolutely complete and exhauftive, we 
apprehend that little or nothing more will ever be added 
to our knowledge of the voyages made to this country by 
the Northmen in the tenth century. 

The evidence relied upon by Profeffor Rafn is derived 
from two fources; viz., from ancient writings, known as 
Icelandic fagas, and from hiftorical monuments and remains 
illuftrating and confirming the narratives contained in the 

The hiftorical monuments were of courfe to be fought in 


America. A correfpondence was accordingly opened with 
the Hiftorical Society of Rhode Ifland; and a very careful 
fearch was made for fuch remains as might in any way 
point to the Scandinavian voyages in queftion. The atten- 

IntroduElion. 1 1 

tion was naturally directed to feveral objects of intereft, 
which had long been familiar to antiquaries, and whofe 
origin was at that time involved in doubt. Prominent 
among: thefe were the celebrated ftone ftruclure of arched 


mafon-work in Newport, and the notorious but unintel- 
ligible writing upon the Dighton rock. Careful and elab- 
orate defcriptions and drawings of thefe were forwarded 
to the Committee at Copenhagen. The credulity of the 
Danifh favans led them to exprefs the opinion that both 
of thefe were the work of the Scandinavian voyagers. 
Whatever confidence may at firft have been felt or ex- 
preffed in this opinion, the forty years that have fmce 
elapfed have left no trace of fuch a belief, fo far as we are 
aware, in the minds of diftinguifhed antiquaries and hif- 
torians of the prefent day. The ground has been carefully 
furveyed, and the conclufion has been reached that no 
remains are to be found on the coafts of America, that can 
be traced to the vifits of the Northmen in the tenth cen- 
tury. The whole of the evidence, therefore, of thefe alleged 
voyages and difcoveries, is documentary, and is to be fought 
alone in the Icelandic fagas. All that is poffible for us to 
know on the fubject is contained in thefe ancient writings. 
The range of inveftigation is thus brought within a very 
narrow compafs. The documents, confifting of extracts 
from ancient fagas, are not numerous or extenfive. They 
are acceffible, through the report of Profeffor Rafn, in three 
different languages ; viz., in the donjk tunga, or old Ice- 
landic in which they were originally written, and in a 
Danifh and a Latin verfion. The Englifh tranflation con- 
tained in this volume, comprifing all that is important to a 


1 2 Introdu9ion m 

full knowledge of the fubjecl, places the contents of thofe 
ancient manufcripts within the reach of all ftudents of 
American hiftory. 

The fynopfis of the evidence, and the opinion of Profeffor 
Rafn, as to the identity of the places vifited on our coaft by 
the Northmen, conftitute a valuable commentary on the text. 
His opinion is valuable becaufe it is the refult of careful and 
fcholarly inveftigation, and fhould, doubtlefs, have weight 
with the reader. But, neverthelefs, it is only an opinion, 
and is fubjecl; to the ufual chances of error. It muft be 
regarded, therefore, as open to revifion on all points on 
which the reader may be better informed. This liberty 
mould be freely exercifed on all opinions which have been, 
or may be, expreffed on this fubjecl. They have widely 
differed in the paft, and it is not likely that they will 
altogether coincide in the future. The ftudent of thefe 
ancient writings will be able to form the beft judgment as 
to the places vifited by the Northmen, by a careful ftudy of 
the documents themfelves, regarding the opinions of others 
only as fubfidiary, and not permitting them to have any 
controlling influence upon his own mind, certainly not 
until he has thoroughly compaffed and weighed the force of 
the reafons on which they reft. No learning can juftify us 
in dogmatizing on the fubjecl:, or in criticising with afperky 
the deliberately formed opinions of others. For the beft 
opinion that may be formed, with all poffible facilities, can- 
not rife to the dignity of a hiftorical demonftration, or be 
held without fome deep fhadings of doubt. 

But an important queftion muft be fettled prior to that 
of the identity of the places vifited. This leads us to a 


Introduftion. 1 3 

brief confideration of the credibility of the Icelandic fagas. 
From thefe ancient writings, as we have already intimated, 
we derive all our knowledge relating in any way to thefe 
voyages. It is from them that we firft learn that the alleged 
voyages were undertaken to the American coaft. Our be- 
lief in the narratives contained in thefe documents muft 
therefore depend upon what we know of the origin of the 
documents in queftion, the manner in which they have been 
preferved and handed down to us through a period of 
nearly nine hundred years. That we may comprehend this 
more fully, a few preliminary flatements will be neceffary. 

Towards the end of the ninth century, Iceland was 
difcovered and colonized by voyagers from Norway. A 
century later, the colonifts of Iceland continued their 
explorations to Greenland, where Chriftianity was fubfe- 
quently introduced, churches were planted, and continued 
to exift and flourifh for a period of more than two hundred 
and fifty years. The tide of emigration from Norway to 
Iceland became fo great that it was finally prohibited by 
royal proclamation. The government inftituted by the 
Icelanders was at firft patriarchal and informal, and was 
moulded moftly by the common law or ufages of their native 
land. Wealth, intellectual force, and enterprife foon gave 
importance to individuals, and by common confeiit they 
became magiftrates and chiefs in the little republic. Family 
pride naturally fprang up, and was foftered by ambition and 
love of power. The fame of their anceftors, their fortunes 
and their achievements, were cherifhed, and religioufly 
handed down by oral tradition from father to fon as a 
precious inheritance. To render the recital of them flow- 

1 4 Introdu&ion. 

ing and eafy, as well as to aid the memory, many of them 
were turned into poetic meafure. Soon an order of poets, 
or fkalds, arofe, whofe office and vocation were to weave 
thefe poetic narratives, and recite them at feftivals, the 
general affizes, and on occafions of public gathering. At 
a later period, hiftorical narratives in profe, of wide and 
engroffing interefl, were fkilfully put together and poliflied 
for public recital. Thefe were called Sagas ; and thofe who 
moulded them into fuitable form, and repeated them on 
great occafions before the affembled nobles, were called 
Sagamen. 1 Chriflianity was planted in Iceland in the year 
1000. Up to this time, written language, if we except Runic 
infcriptions, 2 had not been introduced ; nor afterward were 
hiftorical narratives or fagas committed to writing, until 
the middle of the twelfth century. About this period, the 
fagas, that had floated down on the tide of memory for 
many generations, began to be written out upon parch- 

1 " At all public meetings, and par- on Ancient Northern Literature, 

ticularly at the affembly of the Althing, Guide to Northern Archaeology, Lon- 

the fineft of the old traditions were re- don, 1848, p. 10. 

cited. . . . Every confiderable chief- * The Runic was a method of writ- 
tain had long had his fagaman. On ing. Rune, derived from ryn, means 
thefe occafions, he came forward before a furrow, or channel. The Runic char- 
the people, and the firft of the land a<5lers were moflly made up of ftraight 
were his auditors. The fong of the lines, cutting or meeting each other at 
Ikald and the narrative of the fagaman, certain angles, and were for this rea- 
when thus all eyes were fixed upon fon efpecially convenient for brief in- 
him, and all ears open to him, behooved fcriptions on wood or ftone, for which 
not only to be artiftical, lively, and at- they were exclufively ufed. They were 
tractive, but true. If the recital was employed to fix dates, the ownership of 
without life, it wearied ; if it varied property, to begin a paragraph in aid 
from fa<5ls with which every auditor of the memory, or where the whole 
was familiar, if it contained falfe- ftory could be told in a word or a line, 
hoods, the reciter was treated as a but were never ufed in writing books 
braggart and a liar." N. M. Peterfen or extended documents of any fort. 


ment. 3 The difficulty of obtaining prepared fkins was 
great, and the procefs of writing was flow and expenfive, 
and few fagas were at firft elevated into the written form. 
But in the thirteenth century, the golden age of Icelandic 
literature, thefe writings accumulated to a vaft number. 
After the decline of Icelandic literature, during the feven- 
teenth century or early part of the eighteenth, moft, if not 
all, of thefe ancient documents, were collected together 
and transferred to the libraries of Stockholm and Copen- 
hagen. 4 


3 Snorro Sturlefon, a faga writer, 
who was born in the year 1178, the 
author of the Heimfkringla, or Chron- 
icle of the Kings of Norway, in his 
introduction to that work, gives us a 
very clear idea of how the fagas were 
written, and likewifeof their credibility. 
" In this book," he fays, " I have had 
old ftories written down, as I have 
heard them told by intelligent people, 
concerning chiefs who have held do- 
minion in the northern countries, and 
who fpoke the Danim tongue ; and, 
alfo, concerning fome of their family 
branches, according to what has been 
told me. Some of this is found in 
ancient family regifters, in which the 
pedigrees of kings and other perfonages 
of high birth are reckoned up ; and part 
is written down after old fongs and 
ballads, which our forefathers had for 
their amufement. Now, although we 
cannot juft fay what truth there may 
be in thefe, yet we have the certainty 
that old and wife men held them to be 
true." Again he fays.: "We reft the 
foundations of our ftory principally 
upon the fongs which were fung in the 
prefence of the chiefs themfelves, or of 
their fons, and take all to be true that 
is found in fuch poems about their 

feats and battles ; for although it be 
the famion with fkalds to praife moft 
thofe in whofe prefence they are ftand- 
ing, yet no one would dare to relate to 
a chief what he and all thofe who heard 
it knew to be falfe and imaginary, not 
a true account of his deeds ; becaufe 
that would be mockery, not praise." 
The Heimjkringla, translated by 
Samuel Laing, London, 1844, Vol. I. 
pp. 211-213. 

4 " It was fortunate for hiftory, ^hat 
from the feventeenth century the atten- 
tion of the literati, both in Sweden 
and Denmark, was turned to the im- 
portance of Icelandic manufcripts. 
Arngrim Johnfon, author of Crymogaea, 
aflifted by King Chriftian IV. of Den- 
mark (1643), collected feveral of them ; 
and Bifhop Brynjulf Svendfon fent 
fome of the moft important Icelandic 
codices to Frederic III. (1670), who 
was a zealous promoter of all intel- 
lectual advancement. The Icelander 
Rugman, who, taken prifoner in the 
wars of Charles X. of Sweden, had 
awakened the attention of the Swedifh 
literati to the literary treafures of his 
own country, was fent to the ifland in 
1 66 1 to purchafe manufcripts for the 
Antiquarian Mufeum of Stockholm, 


1 6 Introduction. 

Thefe manufcripts embrace a wide range of fubjects. 
Among them are poems, works of fiction, perfonal memoirs, 
hiftorical narratives, all more or lefs pervaded by the old 
Scandinavian mythology, or the teachings and fuperftitions 
of mediaeval Chriftianity. One clafs can be diftinguifhed 
from another, veritable hiftory from fiction, with the fame 
facility and moral certainty that we diftinguifh fimilar writ- 
ings of a modern date. The hiftorical faga differs from the 
faga that deals with fiction as clearly as the drefs and bear- 
ing of the Cavalier from the drefs and bearing of the Round- 
head, or the peafant. The purpofe of the writer fhines 
through his compofition as light through a tranfparent 
medium. The hiftorian cannot do his work after the man- 
ner of the novelift, nor the novelift in the ftyle of the 
hiftorian. Both are artifts, and neither defires to conceal 
his art. The work of the one can be diftinguifhed from 
the work of the other, as clearly as a landfcape in Nature 
from a landfcape on canvas, or as a living man from a 
likenefs in bronze or marble. Scandinavian fcholars, men 
of learning, difcrimination, and found judgment, have claf- 
fified thefe ancient writings after careful and prolonged 
ftudy, and no reafonable mind will defire to appeal from 
their verdict. 


and many were afterwards fent thither at the head of a royal commiffion in 

on the fame errand ; but Chriftian V. Iceland, which carried on its labors 

of Denmark, whofe dominion, includ- with unwearied affiduity from 1702 to 

ing Norway, extended to Iceland, iffued 1712, that the remaining manufcripts 

a prohibition in 1685 againft any manu- were collected and lodged in the libra- 

fcripts being difpofed of to ftrangers ; ries of Copenhagen." Beamiffl s Dif- 

nor was it until the eminent antiquary covery of America by the Northmen, 

Profeffor Arnas Magnuffen was placed p. xliii. 

Introduction. 1 7 

Among this vaft number of Scandinavian manufcripts 5 
there are two hiftorical fagas which defcribe weftern voyages, 
undertaken during the twenty-five years that intervened 
between 985 and ion. One of them is known as the 
Saga of Erik the Red, and the other as that of Thorfinn 
Karlfefne. On thefe two documents refts all the effential 
evidence which we have relating to the voyages of the 
Northmen to America. Allufions are found in feveral other 
Scandinavian writings, which may corroborate and confirm 
the narratives of the two important fagas to which we have 
juft referred, but add nothing to them really effential 
or important. The Saga of Erik the Red is taken from 
the Codex Flateyenfis, 6 containing a number of fagas, which 
were collected and written out in their prefent form at fome 
time between the years 1387 and 1395. The original faga, 
of which this is a copy, is not known to be now in exiflence, 
but is conjectured, from internal evidence drawn from its 


8 The Arnae-Magnaean Collection III. It was written, as may be clearly 

alone contains two thoufand volumes mown by ftatements contained in it, 

of Icelandic and old Northern manu- between 1387 and 1395. It contains 

fcripts. This collection was made by feveral fagas befide that of Erik the 

Arnas Magnuffen, a diftinguifhed anti- Red, which appear to have been writ- 

quary, between 1702 and 1712, and is ten by feveral hands. The following 

named in honor of him. Vide the is a part of the infcription on the firft 

Earl of Ellefmere's Guide to Old page: ''The prieft Ion Thordarfon has 

Northern Archaeology, London, 1848, written from Eric Vidforla, and the 

p. 128. two fagas of the Olafs ; and prieft 

6 This manufcript, in large folio, Magnus ThorhalliTon has written from 

beautifully written on parchment, and thence, and alfo what is written before, 

illuminated, was found in a monaftery and has illuminated the whole. God 

on the illand Flatey, in Bredefiord in Almighty and the Holy Virgin Mary 

Iceland; and from this ifland takes its blefs thofe who wrote and him who 

name, Codex Flateyenfis. It was pur- dictated." Laing's Heimjkringla, 

chafed by Bifhop Swendfon of Skal- London, 1844, Vol. I. pp. 157, 158. 
holt, about 1650, for King Frederic 

1 8 Introduction. 

language and ftyle, to have been originally compofed in the 
twelfth century. 

The Saga of Thorfinn Karlfefne in its prefent form is 
fuppofed to have been written, at leaft a part of it, by Hauk 
Erlendfon, for many years governor of Iceland, who died 
in 1334. Whether it had been committed to writing at an 
earlier period, and copied by him from a manufcript, or 
whether he took the narrative from oral tradition and re- 
duced it himfelf to writing for the firft time, is not known. 

Both of thefe documents are declared, by thofe qualified 
to judge of the character of ancient writings, to be authentic, 
and were clearly regarded by their writers as narratives of 
hiftorical truth. 

As the voyages to America recorded in the fagas took 
place near the beginning of the eleventh century, as is 
clearly mown by the documents themfelves, and written 
language was not introduced into Iceland till about the 
middle of the twelfth century, it obvioufly follows that the 
narratives of the alleged voyages to America remained only 
in the form of oral traditions at leaft one hundred and fifty, 
and probably two hundred years after the voyages were 
made. We have likewife already feen that the oldeft fagas 
now exifting, and containing the narrative of thefe voy- 
ages, were written from three hundred to four hundred years 
after the events recorded in them took place. 

With thefe facts clearly in mind, the reader will be able to 
form his own opinion, to determine for himfelf what degree 
of credibility ought to be accorded to thefe ancient writings. 
While there is no corroborating evidence outfide of Icelandic 
writings themfelves, no monuments in this country confirm- 

Introduction. \ 9 

ing the truthfulnefs of the narratives, they have, neverthelefs, 
all the elements of truth contained in other fagas, which 
are clearly confirmed by monumental remains. Events 
occurring in Greenland, recorded in Icelandic fagas of equal 
antiquity, are eftablifhed by the undoubted teftimony of 
ancient monuments. This, together with the fact that 
there is no improbability that fuch voyages mould have 
been made, render it eafy to believe that the narratives 
contained in the fagas are true in their general outlines and 
important features. 

It is alfo to be obferved, that a denial that thefe voy- 
ages were made to this continent leaves, to thofe who are 
thus incredulous, an exceedingly difficult problem to folve. 
Thefe Icelandic narratives were written, undeniably, long 
before the difcoveries of Columbus in the Weft Indies, and 
of John Cabot- on our northern Atlantic coaft. The authors 
had, confequently, no information to guide them in fabricat- 
ing a probable, but neverthelefs fictitious, ftory. They 
defcribe, however, with extraordinary truthfulnefs the gen- 
eral outlines and characteriftics of our eaftern fhores, 
embracing foil, products, and climate; beginning in the 
northern regions of perpetual froft, and extending far down 
along the genial and fruitful coafts of the temperate zone. 
The accounts given by the voyagers were accepted as true 
by their contemporaries, and wrought into the permanent 
hiftorical literature of their country. To believe that the 
agreement of thefe narratives with the facts, as they are now 
known to us, was fortuitous, accidental, a mere matter of 
chance, is, under all the conditions and circumftances, impof- 
lible. In their general fcope at leaft, thefe narratives have 


2O Introduction. 

therefore been accepted by the molt judicious and difpaf- 
fionate hiflorical writers throughout the republic of letters. 

But when we defcend to minor ftatements and particu- 
lars unimportant to the general drift and import of the nar- 
ratives, we fhall doubtlefs find it difficult to accept them 
with an unhefitating belief. Narrations that have floated 
down on the current of oral tradition through many genera- 
tions are not only likely, but quite fure, to be warped and 
twifted, to fome extent, out of their original form and mean- 
ing. Events paffing from one narrator to another are 
fhaped and colored, efpecially in fubordinate particulars, by 
the laft mind through which they pafs. Each narrator deals 
with them after the manner of an artift, and, confcioufly or 
unconfcioufly, leaves upon them the imprefs of his own 
mind. The careful hiflorian receives, therefore, all tradi- 
tions, efpecially thofe of long ftanding, cum grano falis, and 
never vouches for their abfolute and entire truth. 

But it is to be obferved that the Icelandic fagamen, in 
whofe cuftody this Scandinavian lore remained for nearly 
two hundred years, were profeffional narrators of events. It 
was their office and duty carefully to commit to memory 
and tranfmit to others what they had themfelves received. 
The profeffional character of the fagaman was therefore, in 
fome degree, a guarantee for the prefervation of the truth. 
But it was neverthelefs impoffible that in the long chain of 
narrators errors mould not creep in ; that the memory of 
fome of them mould not falter at times ; and, more than 
this, that variations mould not have been introduced here 
and there, in obedience to the fagaman 's conception of an 
improved flyle and a better tafte. Few, probably, will be 


Introduction ^ 2 1 

fo rafli as to deny that fuch variations as thefe have been 
incorporated into the text. What thefe variations were, 
whether they were many or few, it will be impoffible for us 
ever to determine. But a knowledge or belief that the 
text, as we read it to-day, is not -probably, in all minor 
particulars, precifely what it was as it was given by the 
Scandinavian voyagers themfelves, when they firft rehearfed 
the ftory of their difcoveries to their friends in Iceland eight 
hundred and fifty years ago, mould lead us to render our 
interpretations with a correfponding modefty and a re- 
flrained affurance. 

We have thus endeavored in thefe pages to prefent to 
the reader, in the moft abbreviated form poffible, the hiftory 
and character of the evidence which we poffefs that the 
Northmen came to the mores of America in the tenth and 
eleventh centuries. During the laffc few years, moft, if not 
all, of the writers who have touched upon our early Ameri- 
can hiftory, have recognized the voyages of the Northmen 
to America by ftatements and allufions more or lefs .ex- 
tended. The greater part of them have reiterated the 
conclufions of others, without having themfelves arrived at 
a full and comprehenfive knowledge of the fubjecl. To 
fome the means of forming an intelligent opinion have 
not been within their reach. Others have approached the 
fubjecl: under great difadvantages. The evidence has been 
prefented fo overloaded with the deductions of enthufiaftic 
editors, that their judgment has been embarraffed,.and their 
conclufions foreflalled. It has been our aim, in offering this 
collection to the members of the Prince Society, to prefent 
the entire evidence on the fubject iri fuch a manner that it 


2 2 Introduction. 

can be clearly underftood, and weighed difpaffionately and 
without embarraffment. 

Our annotations of the fagas are intended to elucidate 
the meaning of the text, but not to predetermine its appli- 
cation. Our knowledge of the points vifited on our coafl 
muft depend upon fubordinate and minor expreffions of the 
fagas, neceffarily fubjecl, as we have feen, to mutations ; and 
queflions of this fort may properly be left to the unbiaffed 
judgment and determination of the reader. 

The effay of Profeffor Rafn, in its fynopfis of the evidence 
contained in the fagas, and his attempt to identify localities, 
the refult of careful ftudy and ripe fcholarfhip, can hardly 
fail to be ufeful, if, indeed, we mall regard it only as a com- 
mentary upon the text, the expreffion of a perfonal opinion, 
but not as a final authority in fettling any important hif- 
torical queftion. With this view, and this only, it has been 
introduced into this volume. 

E. F. S. 

BOSTON, ii Beacon Street, 
20 February, 1877. 


around. 10 

A. D. 985. 

HERE was a man named Thorvald, 8 a fon of 
Ofvald, a fon of Ulf-Oxne-Thorerffon. Thor- 
vald and his fon Erik the Red removed from 
Jaeder 9 to Iceland, in confequence of murder. 
At that time was Iceland colonized wide 

They lived at Drange on Hornftrand : there 


7 " This manufcript," known as the 
Saga of Erik the Red, " forms part of 
the celebrated Flatobogen, or Codex 
Flateyenfis ; and the language, con- 
ftruclion, and ftyle of the narrative, 
together with other unerring indica- 
tions, prove it to have been written in 
the twelfth century. 

" Although the main object of the 
writer of this narrative appears to have 
been to enumerate the deeds and ad- 
ventures of Erik and his fons, fhort 
accounts are alfo given of the difcov- 
eries of fucceeding voyagers, the moft 
diftinguifhed of whom was Thorfinn 
Karlfefne ; but as a more detailed nar- 
rative of the difcoveries of this remark- 
able perfonage is contained in the man- 
ufcript entitled 'The Saga of Thorfinn 
Karlfefne,' which is alfo tranflated, thefe 
feleclions are principally confined to the 

voyages of Erik and his immediate fol- 

We may here remark that under 
the head of Icelandic Sagas we com- 
prehend all written by the Icelanders 
or their defcendants, whether in Ice- 
land proper, in the neighboring iflands, 
Greenland or elsewhere. Vide Bea- 
miJJi's Dis. Am. by the Northmen, 
London, 1841, p. 46. 

8 The old Icelandic hit, equivalent 
to the Latin nominatu s eft, is tranflated 
by Mr. Beamifh into the old Englifh 
word hight. This word has the active 
form while it is paffive in meaning, and 
is, moreover, obfolete. We have there- 
fore rendered it, was called or was 
named in all cafes. 

9 In Norway. 

10 " Iceland was colonized by Ingolf, 
a Norwegian, in 874. The difcovery 


24 Icelandic Sagas. 

died Thorvald. Erik then married Thorhild, the daughter 
of Jaerunda and Thorbjorg Knarrarbringa, who afterwards 
married Thorbjorn of Haukadal. 

Then went Erik from the north, and lived at Erikftad, 
near Vatfhorn. The fon of Erik and Thorhild was called 
Leif. But after Eyulf Soer's and Rafn the duellift's murder, 
was Erik banimed from Haukadal, and he removed weftwards 
to Breidafjord, and lived at GExney at Erikftad. He lent 
Thorgefl his feat-pofts, 11 and could not get them back 
again ; he then demanded them : upon this arofe difputes 
and frays between him and Thorgefl, as is told in Erik's faga. 
Styr Thorgrimfon, Eyulf of Svinoe, and the fons of Brand 
of Alptafjord, and Thorbjorn Vifilfon, affifted Erik in this 
matter; but the fons of Thorgeller and Thorgeir of Hitardal 
ftood by the Thorgeftlingers. Erik was declared outlawed 
by the Thorfnefthing, 12 and he then made ready his fliip in 


of the ifland has been erroneoufly great judgment by Mr. Beamim; and 
given to Nadodd in 862 ; but Finn we therefore need to offer no apology 
Magnufen and Rafn have mown that it for introducing them into this work. 
had been previoufly vifited by Gardar, " The Setftokka were carved pillars 
a Dane of Swedifh defcent, about the of wood attached to the refidence of 
year 860, and was firft called Gardarf- nobles, ornamented at the top with the 
holm (Gardar's Ifland) ; nor can the buft of their protecting deity, as Thor 
arrival of Nadodd, who called it Snee- or Odin. When the Northmen re- 
land (Snowland), be fixed at an earlier moved from one place to another, in 
period than 864." See Gr'6nland' l s obedience to a fmgular fuperftition, 
Hiftorijke Mindcfmcerker, Vol. I. pp. they caft their fetftokka into the fea ; 
92-97. BeamiJJi. and wherever they were ftranded, there 

We may here remark that the text they made their abode, 
of Mr. Beamim's tranflation is eluci- 12 Ting, or Thing, fignifies, in the 

dated frequently by learned notes, old Scandinavian tongue, to fpeak; 

taken largely from the more elaborate and hence a popular affembly, or court 

work of Profeffor Rafn, entitled "An- of juftice. The national affembly of 

tiquitates Americanas," to which we Norway ftill retains the name of Stor- 

have already referred in the Intro- thing, or great meeting, and is divided 

duftion to this volume. The pith and into two chambers, called the Lag-thing 

general fcope of thefe notes, originally and Odels-thing. BeamiJIi. 
written in Latin, have been ftated with 

Icelandic Sagas. 25 

Erik's creek; and when he was ready, Styr and the others 
followed him out paft the iflands. Erik told them that he 
intended to go in fearch of the land, which Ulf Krage's fon 
Gunnbjorn faw, when he was driven out to the weftward in 
the fea, the time when he found the rocks of Gunnbjorn. 13 
He faid he would come back to his friends if he found the 
land. Erik failed out from Snasfellfjokul ; 14 he found land, 
and came in from the fea to the place which he called 
Midjokul ; it is now called Blaferkr. He then went fouth- 
wards to fee whether it was there habitable land. The firft 
winter he was at Erikfey, nearly in the middle of the eaftern 
fettlement ; the fpring after repaired he to Eriksfjord, and 
took up there his abode. He removed in fummer to the 
weftern fettlement, and gave to many places names. He 
was the fecond winter at Holm in Hrafnfgnipa; but the 
third fummer went he to Iceland, and came with his fhip 
into Breidafjord. He called the land which he had found 
Greenland, becaufe, quoth he, " people will be attracted 
thither, if the land has a good name." Erik was in Iceland 
for the winter, but the fummer after went he to colonize 
the land ; he dwelt at Brattahlid in Eriksfjord. Informed 
people fay that the fame fummer Erik the Red went to 
colonize Greenland ; thirty-five mips failed from Breidafjord 
and Borgafjord, but only fourten arrived ; fome were driven 
back, and others were loft. This was fifteen winters before 


18 Gunnbjarnafker, flated by Bjorn by the defcent of Arctic ice. Antiq. 
Johnfon to have been about midway Am., p. n, note a. Beamijh. 
between Iceland and Greenland, but 14 Jbkul is ufed to defcribe a tnoun- 
now concealed, or rendered inacceffible tain of fnow or ice (glacier), fromja&i, 

a fragment of ice. Idem. 

26 Icelandic Sagas. 

Chriftianity was eftablifhed by law in Iceland. 15 " The 
fame feafon Bifhop Frederick, and Thorvald the fon of 
Kodran, departed from Iceland." 16 The following men, 
who went out with Erik, took land in Greenland: Herjulf 
took Herjulfsfjord (he lived at Herjulfpnefs), Ketil Ketilf- 
fjord, Rafn Rafnsfjord, Scelve Scelvedal, Helge Thorbrandffon 
Alptafjord, Thorbjornglora Siglefjord, Einar Einarsfjord, 
Hafgrim Hafgrimsfjord and Vatnahverf, Arnlaug Arn- 
laugsfjord ; but fome went to the weftern fettlement. 

" After the lapfe of fixteen winters from the time Erik 
the Red went to inhabit Greenland, Leif, the fon of Erik, 
going from Greenland into Norway, came in the autumn to 
Drontheim, when King Olaf, the fon of Tryggvius, came 
thither from Hegeland. Leif brought his fhip to Nidaros, 
and repaired immediately to King Olaf. The king ex- 
horted him, as alfo the other pagan men who came to him, 
to accept religion. When the king had eafily effected this 
with Leif, he was baptized, and all his failors ; and he paffed 
the winter with the king, being liberally entertained." 

A. D. 986. 

HERJULF was the fon of Bard Herjulfson ; he was kinf- 
man to the colonift Ingolf. To Herjulf gave Ingolf land 


15 Chriftianity was eftablifhed in Ice- Beamifh's tranflation, but is found in 

land A.D. 1000. It consequently fol- Rafn's text, as alfo that relating to the 

lows that Erik the Red went to colo- baptifm of Leif and his party, which 

nize Greenland A.D. 985. we have placed under quotation-marks. 

18 This paflage is omitted in Mr. Vide Antiq. Am., p 15. 

Icelandic Sagas. 27 

between Vog and Reykjanefs. 17 Herjulf lived firfl at Drep- 
ftock. His wife was named Thorgerd, and Bjarni was their 
fon, a very hopeful man. He conceived, when yet young, 
a defire to travel abroad, and foon earned for himfelf both 
riches and refpect ; and he was every fecond winter abroad, 
every other at home with his father. Soon poffeffed Bjarni 
his own fhip ; and the laft winter he was in Norway, Herjulf 
prepared for a voyage to Greenland with Erik. In the fhip 
with Herjulf was a Chriftian from the Hebrides, 18 who 
made a hymn refpecling the whirlpool, 19 in which was the 
following verfe : 

" O Thou who trieft holy men ! 
Now guide me on my way ; 
Lord of the earth's wide vault, extend 
Thy gracious hand to me. " 

Herjulf lived at Herjulfsnefs ; he was a very refpeclable 
man. Erik the Red lived at Brattahlid ; he was the mofl 
looked up to, and every one regulated themfelves by him. 
Thefe were Erik's children : Leif, Thorvald, and Thorftein : 
but his daughter was called Freydis ; me was married to a 
man who was named Thorvard ; they lived in Garde, where 
is now the Bifhop's feat ; me was very haughty, but Thor- 
vard was narrow-minded ; me was married to him chiefly on 
account of his money. Heathen were the people in Green- 
land at this time. Bjarni came to Eyrar with his fhip the 


17 In Iceland. ancient Icelandic writer as a dangerous 

18 The Latin verfion has vir Hebu- pafs in the Greenland ocean. Antiq. 
denfis. Amer., p. 18, note a. Beami/h. 

19 Hafgerdingar, defcribed by an 

28 Icelandic Sagas. 

fummer of the fame year in which his father had failed 
away in fpring. Thefe tidings appeared ferious to Bjarni, 
and he was unwilling to unload his fhip. Then his feamen 
afked him what he would do ; he anfwered that he intended 
to continue his cuftom, and pafs the winter with his father : 
" And I will," faid he, " bear for Greenland, if ye will give 
me your company." All faid that they would follow his 
counfel. Then faid Bjarni : " Imprudent will appear our 
voyage, fmce none of us has been in the Greenland ocean." 
However, they put to fea fo foon as they were ready, and 
failed for three days, until the land was out of fight under 
the water ; but then the fair wind fell, and there arofe north 
winds and fogs, and they knew not where they were ; and 
thus it continued for many days. After that faw they the 
fun again, and could difcover the fky ; they now made fail, 
and failed for that day, before they faw land, and counfelled 
with each other about what land that could be, and Bjarni 
faid that he thought it could not be Greenland. They 
afked whether he wifhed to fail to this land or not. " My 
advice is," faid he, " to fail clofe to the land ; " and fo they 
did, and foon faw that the land was without mountains, and 
covered with wood, and had fmall heights. Then left they 
the land on their larboard fide, and let the ftern turn from 
the land. Afterwards they failed two days before they faw 
another land. They afked if Bjarni thought that this was 
Greenland, but he faid that he as little believed this to be 
Greenland as the other ; " becaufe in Greenland are faid to 
be very high ice-hills." They foon approached the land, 
and faw that it was a flat land covered with wood. Then the 
fair wind fell, and the failors faid that it feemed to them 


Icelandic Sagas. 29 

moft advifable to land there ; but Bjarni was unwilling to do 
fo. They pretended that they were in want of both wood 
and water. " Ye have no want of either of the two," fa id 
Bjarni ; for this, however, he met with fome reproaches 
from the failors. He bade them make fail, and fo was 
done ; they turned the prow from the land, and, failing out 
into the open fea for three days, with a fouth-weft wind, faw 
then the third land ; and this land was high, and covered 
with mountains and ice-hills. Then afked they whether 
Bjarni would land there, but he faid that he would not: 
" for to me this land appears little inviting." Therefore did 
they not lower the fails, but held on along this land, and 
faw that it was an ifland ; again turned they the Hern from 
the land, and failed out into the fea with the fame fair wind ; 
but the breeze frefhened, and Bjarni then told them to 
fhorten fail, and not fail fafter than their fhip and fhip's 
gear could hold out. They failed now four days, 20 when 
they faw the fourth land. Then afked they Bjarni whether 
he thought that this was Greenland or not. Bjarni an- 
fwered : " This is the moft like Greenland, according to 
what I have been told about it, and here will we fteer for 
land." So did they, and landed in the evening under a 
nefs ; and there was a boat by the nefs, and jufl here lived 
Bjarni's father, and from him has the nefs taken its name, 
and is fince called Herjulfsnefs. Bjarni now repaired to his 


20 A day's fail was eftimated by ments in the calculation are the direc- 

the Northmen at from twenty-feven to tion of the wind, the length of time 

thirty geographical miles. Beamijh. fpent in failing from one point to 

To determine what coafts were vifited, another, the diftance paffed over in a 

as the mariner's compafs had not then given time, and the general character 

been difcovered, the important ele- of the countries difcovered. 

3<D Icelandic Sagas. 

father's, and gave up feafaring, and was with his father fo 
long as Herjulf lived, and afterwards he dwelt there after 
his father. 

Here beginneth the Narrative of the Greenlanders. 

THE next thing now to be related is, that Bjarni Herjulf- 
fon went out from Greenland, and vifited Erik Jarl, 21 and 
the Jarl received him well. Bjarni told about his voyages, 
that he had feen unknown lands, and people thought that 
he had mown no curiofity, when he had nothing to relate 
about thefe countries, and this became fomewhat a matter 
of reproach to him. Bjarni became one of the Jarl's cour- 
tiers, and came back to Greenland the fummer after. 
There was now much talk about voyages of difcovery. 
Leif, the fon of Erik the Red, of Brattahlid, went to Bjarni 
Herjulfson, and bought the fhip of him, and engaged men 
for it, fo that there were thirty-five men in all. Leif afked 
his father Erik to be the leader on the voyage ; but Erik 
excufed himfelf, faying that he was now pretty well ftricken 
in years, and could not now, as formerly, hold out all the 
hardfhips of the fea. Leif faid that ftill he was the one of 
the family whom good fortune would fooneft attend ; and 
Erik gave in to Leif s requeft, and rode from home fo foon 
as they were ready ; and it was but a fhort way to the fhip. 
The horfe {tumbled that Erik rode, and he fell off, and 


21 Erik, Jaifl (Earl) of Norway. This in the year 994. Antiq. Amer., p. 
is fuppofe4 by Rafn to have happened xxix. BeamiJJt. 

Icelandic Sagas. 3 1 

bruifed his foot. Then faid Erik, " It is not ordained that 
I fhould difcover more countries than that which we now 
inhabit, and we fhould make no further attempt in com- 
pany." Erik went home to Brattahlid ; but Leif repaired 
to the fhip, and his comrades with him, thirty-five men. 
There was a fouthern 22 on the voyage, who was named 
Tyrker. Now prepared they their fhip, and failed out into 
the fea when they were ready, and then found that land 
firft which Bjarni had found laft. There failed they to the 
land, and caft anchor, and put off boats, and went afhore, 
and faw there no grafs. Great icebergs were over all up 
the country ; but like a plain of flat ftones was all from the 
fea to the mountains, and it appeared to them that this 
land had no good qualities. Then faid Leif, " We have 
not done like Bjarni about this land, that we have not been 
upon it ; now will I give the land a name, and call it HEL- 
LULAND." 23 Then went they on board, and after that failed 
out to fea, and found another land ; they failed again to the 
land, and caft anchor, then put off boats and went on fhore. 
This land was flat, and covered with wood, and white fands 
were far around where they went, and the fhore was low. 
Then faid Leif, " This land fhall be named after its qualities, 
and called MARKLAND^ (woodland)." They then imme- 
diately returned to the fhip. Now failed they thence into 
the open fea with a north-eafl wind, and were two days at 


22 Sudrmadr, fuppofed to mean a 23 From hella, a flat ftone, and land, 

German, as the terms Sudrmenn and flat-ftone land, or Helluland Sup- 

Thydverfkirmenn are ufed promifcu- pofed by Profeffor Rafn to be New- 

oufly to diftinguifh the natives of Ger- foundland. 

many, by old Northern writers. An- 24 Nova Scotia, according to Pro- 

tiq. Amer., p. 28, note a. Beamijh. feflbr Ram. 

32 Icelandic Sagas. 

fea before they faw land, and they failed thither and came 
to an ifland which lay to the eaftward of the land, 25 and 
went up there, and looked round them in good weather, 
and obferved that there was dew upon the grafs ; and it fo 
happened that they touched the dew with their hands, and 
raifed the fingers to the mouth, and they thought that they 
had never before tafted any thing fo fweet. 

After that they went to the fhip, and failed into a found, 
which lay between the ifland and a nefs (promontory), which 
ran out to the eaflward of the land ; and then fleered weft- 
wards paft the nefs. It was very fhallow at ebb tide, and 
their fhip ftood up, fo that it was far to fee from the fhip to 
the water. 

But fo much did they defire to land, that they did not 
give themfelves time to wait until the water again rofe 
under their fhip, but ran at once on more, at a place where 
a river flows out of a lake ; but fo foon as the waters rofe 
up under the fhip, then took they boats, and rowed to the 
fhip, and floated it up to the river, and thence into the lake, 
and there caft anchor, and brought up from the fhip their 
fkin cots, 26 and made there booths. 27 


25 Literally " northward of the land " fhip-board, as appears in the Laxdasla 
(nordr af landinu) ; but the Editor Saga, p. 1 1 6, where Thurid fays, "hun 
(Profeffor Rafn) fhows that the North- gekk at hudfati pvi, er Geirmundr 
men placed this point of the compafs fvafi," "fhe went to the couch, where 
nearly in the pofition of our eaft." Geirmund flept." It thus anfwers to 
Antiq. Amer., p. 428. Beamijh. the uter of the Romans, and o-rpcB^aro- 

26 Hudfot, from httd, fkin, and fat, 8eoyi of the Greeks. Antiq. Amer., 
a cafe, or cover! ng, being, ftriftly fpeak- p. 31! Idem. 

ing, a fkin bag, or pouch, in which the 27 Bi'idir, f. pi. of bud, from bua, to 

ancients were accuftomed to keep their remain or inhabit ; hence, probably, the 

clothes and other articles on a jour- Eng. booth. Idem. 
ney : the fame was ufed for a bed on 

Icelandic Sagas. 33 

After this took they counfel, and formed the refolution 
of remaining there for the winter, and built there large 
houfes. There was no want of falmon either in the river 
or in the lake, and larger falmon than they had before feen. 
The nature of the country was, as they thought, fo good, 
that cattle would not require houfe-f ceding in winter, for 
there came no froft in winter, and little did the grafs wither 
there. Day and night were more equal than in Greenland 
or Iceland, for on the fhorteft day was the fun above the 
horizon from half-past feven in the forenoon till half-part 
four in the afternoon. 28 

But when they had done with the houfe-building, Leif faid 
to his comrades : " Now will I divide our men into two parts, 
and have the land explored ; and the half of the men mall 
remain at home at the houfe, while the other half explore 
the land ; but, however, not go further than that they can 
come home in the evening, and they mould not feparate." 
Now they did fo for a time, and Leif changed about, fo 
that the one day he went with them, and the other remained 
at home in the houfe. Leif was a great and ftrong man, 
grave and well favored, therewith fenfible and moderate in 
all things. 


IT happened one evening that a man of the party was 
miffing, and this was Tyrker the German. This took Leif 


28 The following is the fubftance of been elucidated in an interefting article 
a valuable note introduced by Mr. ' On the Ancient Scandinavians' Divi- 
Beamifli in loco: "This fubjecl; has fion of the Time of the Day,' by Finn 

5 Magnufen, 


Icelandic Sagas. 

much to heart, for Tyrker had been long with his father 
and him, and loved Leif much in his childhood. Leif now 
took his people feverely to talk, and prepared to feek for 
Tyrker, and took twelve men with him. But when they 


Magnufen, publifhed in the Memoirs 
of the Society of Northern Antiqua- 
ries, by which it appears that 

" The ancient Scandinavians divided 
the heavens or the horizon into eight 
grand divisions, and the times of the 
day according to the fun's apparent 
motion through thefe divifions, the 
paflage through each of which they 
fuppofed to occupy a period of three 
hours. The day was therefore divided 
into portions of time correfponding 
with thefe eight divifions, each of which 
was called an eykt, fignifying an eighth 
part. This eykt was again divided, 
like each of the grand divifions of the 
heavens, into two fmaller and equal 
portions, called ftund, or mal. In 
order to determine thefe divifions of 
time, the inhabitants of each place 
carefully obferved the diurnal courfe 
of the fun, and noted the terreftrial 
objects over which it feemed to ftand. 
Such a natural or artificial object was 
called in Iceland dag f mark (day- 
mark). They were alfo led to fix thefe 
daymarks by a divifion of the horizon 
according to the principal winds, as 
well as by the wants of their domeftic 
economy : the fhepherd's rifing time, 
for inftance, was called Hirdis rif- 
mdl, which correfponds with half-part 4 
o'clock, A.M. ; and this was the begin- 
ning of the natural day (daegr) of 
twenty-four hours. Reckoning from 
the hirdis rifmdl, the eight ftund, or 
eighth half eykt, terminated exactly at 
half-paft 4 o'clock in the afternoon ; 
and therefore this particular period 
was called WIT' t&XW EYKT. This 
eykt, ftrictly fpeaking, commenced at 
3 o'clock, P.M., and ended at half-paft 

4, P.M., when it was faid to be in 
eyktarftadr, or the termination of the 
eykt. The precife moment that the 
fun appeared in this place indicated 
the termination of the artificial day 
(dagr) and half the natural day (dasgr), 
and was therefore held efpecially de- 
ferving of notice : the hours of labor, 
alfo, are fuppofed to have ended at this 
time. Six o'clock, A.M., was called 
Midr morgun; half-part 7, A.M., Dag- 
mal j 9, A.M., Dagverdarmal, &c. 
Winter was confidered to commence 
in Iceland about the iyth October ; and 
Bifhop Thorlacius, the calculator of the 
Aftronomical Calendar, fixes funrife in 
the fouth of Iceland on the i7th Octo- 
ber, at half-paft 7, A.M. At this hour, 
according to the Saga, it rofe in Vin- 
land on the fhorteft day, and fet at 
half-paft 4, P.M., which data fix the 
latitude of the place at 41 43' 10". 
See Antiq. Amer., pp. 435-438, Md- 
moires de la Societt Roy ale des Anti- 
quaires dti Nord, 1836, 1837, p. 165 ; 
and Dial of the Ancient Northmen, in 
Appendix to Beamifh. Profeflbr Rafn 
makes the latitude from the above data 
41 24' 10" [Antiq. Amer., p. 436]; but 
if, as is to be prefumed, the obferva- 
tion was made when the fun had com- 
pletely rifen, and his lower edge ap- 
peared to touch the horizon, it could 
not be lefs than 41 43' 10" : however, 
the difference is unimportant as re- 
gards the locality, for nothing more 
than an approximation to the correct 
latitude of the place could be expected 
from the rude method of calculating 
time which was then practifed by the 
Northmen." Videpostea, p. 126. 

Icelandic Sagas. 35 

had gotten a fhort way from the houfe, then came Tyrker 
towards them, and was joyfully received. Leif foon faw 
that his fofter-father was not in his right fenfes. Tyrker 
had a high forehead and unfteady eyes, was freckled in the 
face, fmall and mean in ftature, but excellent in all kinds 
of artifice. Then faid Leif to him : " Why wert thou fo 
late, my fofterer, and feparated from the party ? " He now 
fpoke firft, for a long time in German, and rolled his eyes 
about to different fides, and twifted his mouth ; but they 
did not underftand what he faid. After a time he fpoke 
Norfk. 29 " I have not been much further off, but flill have 
I fomething new to tell of; I found vines and grapes.'' 
" But is that true, my fofterer? " quoth Leif. " Surely is it 
true," replied he, " for I was bred up in a land where there 
is no want of either vines or grapes." They flept now for 
the night, but in the morning Leif faid to his failors: " We 
will now fet about two things, in that the one day we gather 
grapes, and the other day cut vines and fell trees, fo from 
thence will be a loading for my fhip ; " and that was the 
counfel taken, and it is faid their long-boat was filled with 
grapes. Now was a cargo cut down for the fhip, and when 
the fpring came they got ready, and failed away; and 
Leif gave the land a name after its qualities, and called it 

They failed now into the open fea, and had a fair wind 
until they faw Greenland, and the mountains below the 
joklers. Then a man put in his word and faid to Leif: 


29 Norraenu, i.e. the Northern tongue den, Iceland, Greenland, and part of 
(Donsk tiinga), being the language then Britain. Antiq. Amer., p. 35. Bea~ 
common to Denmark, Norway, Swe- mijh. 

36 Icelandic Sagas. 

" Why do you fleer fo clofe to the wind ? " Leif anfwered : 
" I attend to my fleering, and fomething more ; and can ye 
not fee any thing ? " They anfwered that they could not 
obferve any thing extraordinary. " I know not," faid Leif, 
" whether I fee a fliip or a rock." Now looked they, and 
faid it was a rock. But he faw fo much fharper than they, 
that he perceived there were men upon the rock. " Now 
let us," faid Leif, " hold our wind, fo that we come up to 
them, if they mould want our affiflance ; and the neceffity 
demands that we mould help them ; and if they mould not 
be kindly difpofed, the power is in our hands, and not in 
theirs." Now failed they under the rock, and lowered their 
fails, and cafl anchor, and put out another little boat, which 
they had with them. Then afked Tyrker who their leader 
was. He called himfelf Thorer, and faid he was a North- 
man. " But what is thy name ? " faid he. Leif told his name. 
" Art thou a fon of Erik the Red, of Brattahlid ? " quoth he. 
Leif anfwered that fo it was. " Now will I," faid Leif, 
" take ye all on board my fhip, and as much of the goods 
as the fhip can hold." They accepted the offer, and failed 
thereupon to Eriksfjord with the cargo; and thence to 
Brattahlid, where they unloaded the fhip. After that, Leif 
invited Thorer and his wife Gudrid, and three other men 
to flop with him, and got berths for the other feamen, as 
well Thorer's as his own, elfewhere. Leif took fifteen men 
from the rock ; he was, after that, called Leif the Lucky. 
Leif had now earned both riches and refpecl. The fame 
winter came a heavy ficknefs among Thorer's people, and 
carried off as well Thorer himfelf as many of his men. 
This winter died alfo Erik the Red. Now was there much 


Icelandic Sagas. 37 

talk about Leif's voyage to Vinland; and Thorvald, his 
brother, thought that the land had been much too little 
explored. Then faid Leif to Thorvald : " Thou canft go 
with my fhip, brother, if thou wilt, to Vinland ; but I wifh 
firft that the fhip fhould go and fetch the timber, which 
Thorer had upon the rock ; " and fo was done. 


Now Thorvald made ready for this voyage with thirty 
men, and took counfel thereon with Leif, his brother. 
Then made they their fhip ready, and put to fea, and 
nothing is told of their voyage until they came to Leif's 
booths, in Vinland. There they laid up their fhip, and 
fpent a pleafant winter, 30 and caught fifh for their fupport. 
But in the fpring, faid Thorvald, they mould make 
ready the fhip, and fome of the men fhould take the 
fhip's long-boat round the weftern part of the land, and 
explore there during the fummer. To them appeared the 
land fair and woody, and but a fhort diftance between the 
wood and the fea, and white fands; there were many 
iflands, and much mallow water. They found neither 
dwellings of men or beafts, except upon an ifland, to the 
weflward, where they found a corn-fhed of wood; 31 but 
many works of men they found not ; and they then went 
back and came to Leif's booths in the autumn. But the 


30 Probably in A.D. 1002, 1003. fhed ; which fignification alfo obtains in 

31 Kornhjdlm afire", from korn, corn, the Danifh language. Antiq, Amer., 
and hjalmr, a covering, hence helmet- p. 41, note a. Beami/h. 


38 Icelandic Sagas. 

next fummer 32 went Thorvald eaftward with the fhip, and 
round the land to the northward. Here came a heavy 
ftorm upon them when off a nefs, fo that they were 
driven on more, and the keel broke off from the fhip, and 
they remained here a long time, and repaired their fhip. 
Then faid Thorvald to his companions : " Now will I that 
we fix up the keel here upon the nefs, and call it Keelnefs 
(Kjalarnefs), and fo did they. After that they failed away 
round the eaftern fhores of the land, and into the mouths 
of the friths, which lay neareft thereto, and to a point of 
land which ftretched out, and was covered all over with 
wood. There they came to with the fhip, and moved out 
a plank to the land, and Thorvald went up the country 
with all his companions. He then faid : " Here is beautiful, 
and here would I like to raife my dwelling." Then went 
they to the fhip, and faw upon the fands within the promon- 
tory three elevations, and went thither, and faw there three 
fkin boats (canoes), and three men under each. Then di- 
vided they their people, and caught them all, except one, 
who got away with his boat. They killed the other eight, 
and then went back to the cape, and looked round them, 
and faw fome heights infide of the frith, and fuppofed 
that thefe were dwellings. After that, fo great a drowfinefs 
came upon them that they could not keep awake, and they 
all fell afleep. Then came a fhout over them, fo that they 
all awoke. Thus faid the fhout: "Wake thou, Thorvald! 
and all thy companions, if thou wilt preferve life, and return 
thou to thy fhip, with all thy men, and leave the land with- 
out delay," Then rufhed out from the interior of the frith 


32 Probably A.D. 1004. 

Icelandic Sagas. 39 

an innumerable crowd of fkin boats, and made towards 
them. Thorvald faid then : " We will put out the battle- 
fkreen, 33 and defend ourfelves as well as we can, but fight 
little againft them." So did they ; and the Skraelings ^ mot 
at them for a time, but afterwards ran away, each as faft as 
he could. Then afked Thorvald his men if they had gotten 
any wounds ; they anfwered that no one was wounded. " I 
have gotten a wound under the arm," faid he, "for an 
arrow fled between the edge of the fliip and the fhield, in 
under my arm ; and here is the arrow, and it will prove a 
mortal wound to me. Now counfel I ye, that ye get ready 
inftantly to depart, but ye fhall bear me to that cape, where 
I thought it befl to dwell ; it may be that a true word fell 
from my mouth, that I mould dwell there for a time ; there 
fhall ye bury me, and fet up croffes at my head and feet, 
and call the place KROSSANESS, for ever in all time to 
come." Greenland was then Chriftianized, but Erik the 
Red died before Chriftianity was introduced. Now Thor- 
vald died; but they did all things according to his di- 
rections, and then went away, and returned to their 
companions, and told to each other the tidings which they 
knew, and dwelt there for the winter, and gathered grapes 
and vines to load the fhip. But in the fpring x they made 


88 Vigfleka, from vig, battle, and landic authors ; and others deducing it 

fleki, or flaki, flat and broad ; hence a fromfarcela, to make dry, in allufion to 

fhield made of large planks of wood. their withered appearance. The word 

Beami/h. Jkrakja, to cry out, has alfo been given 

84 Skraelingar. Various definitions as the etymology of the term, from 

have been given of this term, fome their habit of fhouting. Antiq.Amer., 

authors attributing it to the low ftature p. 45, note a. Idem. 
of the Efquimaux, who are alfo called 85 Doubtlefs A.D. 1005. 
Smcelingar (diminutive men) by Ice- 

40 Icelandic Sagas. 

ready to fail to Greenland, and came with their fhip in 
Eriksfjord, and could now tell great tidings to Leif. 


MEANTIME it had happened in Greenland, that Thorftein 
in Eriksfjord married Gudrid, Thorbjorn's daughter, who had 
been formerly married to Thorer the Eaftman, 36 as is before 
related. Now Thorftein Erikfon conceived a defire to go 
to Vinland after the body of Thorvald his brother ; and he 
made ready the fame fhip, and chofe great and ftrong men 
for the crew, and had with him twenty-five men, and 
Gudrid his wife. They failed away fo foon as they were 
ready, and came out of fight of the land. They drove about 
in the fea the whole fummer, and knew not where they were ; 
and when the firft week of winter 37 was paft, then landed 
they in Lyfefjord in Greenland, in the weftern fettlement. 
Thorftein fought fhelter for them, and procured lodging 
for all his crew ; but he himfelf and his wife were without 
lodging, and they, therefore, remained fome two nights in 
the fhip. Then was Chriftianity yet new in Greenland. 38 
Now it came to pafs one day that fome people repaired early 
in the morning to their tent, and the leader of the party afked 
who was in the tent. Thorftein anfwered : " Here are two 


36 Auftmadr. Such were the Nor- amongft the Icelanders, they confid- 

wegians often called by the Iceland- ered winter to commence about the 

ers, Norway lying to the eaft of their I7th Oflober. Finn Magnufen, Ap. 

ifland. Antiq. Amer., p. 47, note a. Mm. des Antiq. du Nord, 1836, 1837, 

Beamijk. p. 179. Idem. 

87 Whilft the Julian calendar, intro- w Probably in A.D. 1005. 
duced after Chriftianity, was in ufe 

Icelandic Sagas. 41 

perfons, but who afks the queftion ? " " Thorftein is my 
name," faid the other, "and I am called Thorftein the 
Black, but my bufmefs here is to bid ye both, thou and thy 
wife, to come and ftop at my houfe." Thorftein faid that 
he would talk the matter over with his wife ; but me told 
him to decide, and he accepted the bidding. " Then will 
I come after ye in the morning with horfes, for I want 
nothing to entertain ye both ; but it is very wearifome at 
my houfe, for we are there but two, I and my wife, and I 
am very morofe ; I have alfo a different religion from yours, 
and yet hold I that for the better which ye have." Now 
came he after them in the morning with horfes, and they 
went to lodge with Thorftein the Black, who fhewed them 
every hofpitality. Gudrid was a grave and dignified 
woman, and therewith fenfible, and knew well how to 
carry herfelf among ftrangers. Early that winter came 
ficknefs amongft Thorftein Erikfon's men, and there died 
many of his people. Thorftein had coffins made for the 
bodies of thofe who died, and caufed them to be taken out 
to the fhip, and there laid ; " for I will," faid he, " have all 
the bodies taken to Eriksfjord in the fummer." Now it 
was not long before the ficknefs came alfo into Thorftein's 
houfe, and his wife, who was called Grimhild, took the fick- 
nefs firft : fhe was very large, and ftrong as a man, but ftill 
did the ficknefs mafter her. And foon after that, the difeafe 
attacked Thorftein Erikfon, and they both lay ill at the 
fame time ; and Grimhild, the wife of Thorftein the Black, 
died. But when fhe was dead, then went Thorftein out of 
the room after a plank to lay the body upon. Then faid 
Gudrid : " Stay not long away, my Thorftein ! " He an- 

6 fwered 

42 Icelandic Sagas. 

fwered that fo it fhould be. Then faid Thorftein Erikfon : 
"Strangely now is our houfe-mother 39 going on, for fhe 
pufhes herfelf up on her elbows, and ftretches her feet out 
of bed, and feels for her fhoes." At that moment came in 
the huf band Thorftein, and Grimhild then lay down, and 
every beam in the room creaked. Now Thorftein made a 
coffin for Grimhild's body, and took it out, and buried it ; 
but although he was a large and powerful man, it took all 
his ftrength to bring it out of the place. Now the ficknefs 
attacked Thorftein Erikfon, and he died, which his wife 
Gudrid took much to heart. They were then all in the 
room ; Gudrid had taken her feat upon a chair beyond the 
bench, upon which Thorftein, her huf band, had lain ; then 
Thorftein the hoft took Gudrid from the chair upon his 
knees, and fat down with her upon another bench, juft 
oppofite Thorftein's body. He comforted her in many 
ways, and cheered her up, and promifed to go with her to 
Eriksfjord with her hufband's body and thofe of his com- 
panions ; " and I will alfo," added he, " bring many fervants 
to comfort and amufe thee." She thanked him. Then 
Thorftein Erikfon fat himfelf up on the bench, and faid : 
" Where is Gudrid ? " Three times faid he that, but fhe 
anfwered not. Then faid fhe to Thorftein the hoft : " Shall 
I anfwer his queftions, or not ? " He counfelled her not to 
anfwer. After this went Thorftein the hoft acrofs the 
floor, and fat himfelf on a chair, but Gudrid fat upon his 
knees, and he faid : " What wilt thou, Namefake ? " After 
a little he anfwered : " I wifh much to tell Gudrid her 
fortune, in order that fhe may be the better reconciled to 

39 Husfreyju. 

Icelandic Sagas. 43 

my death, for I have now come to a good refting-place ; 
but this can I tell thee, Gudrid, that thou wilt be married 
to an Icelander, and ye mail live long together, and have 
a numerous pofterity, powerful, diftinguifhed, and excellent, 
fweet and well favored ; ye mail remove from Greenland to 
Norway, and from thence to Iceland ; there mail ye live 
long, and thou malt outlive him. Then wilt thou go 
abroad, and travel to Rome, and come back again to 
Iceland, to thy houfe ; and then will a church be built, and 
thou wilt refide there, and become a nun, and there wilt 
thou die." 40 And when he had faid thefe words, Thorftein 
fell back, and his corpfe was fet in order, and taken to the 
fhip. Now Thorftein the hoft kept well all the promifes 
which he had made to Gudrid ; in fpring 41 he fold his 
farm, and his cattle, and betook himfelf to the fhip, with 
Gudrid, and all that he poffeffed ; he made ready the fhip, 
and procured men therefor, and then failed to Eriks- 
fjord. The bodies were now buried by the Church. Gudrid 
repaired to Leif in Brattahlid ; but Thorftein the Black made 
himfelf a dwelling at Eriksfjord, and dwelt there fo long as 
he lived, and was looked upon as a very able man. 


40 This prophetic announcement of ticity." Abftratt of Eyrbyggia Saga, 

Thorftein Erikfon is highly character- Mifcell. Profe Works, Vol. V. p. 365. 

iftic of the fuperftition of the times, This intereftingabftractfirft appeared in 

and, although pertaining to the mar- " Illuftrations of Northern Antiquities," 

vellous, is not the lefs corroborative 4to, Edinburgh, 1814, a work of high 

of the authenticity of the narrative, value and great promife, but which the 

" Such incidents," fays Sir Walter want of public fupport compelled the 

Scott, " make an invariable part of the diftinguifhed compilers and antiquaries, 

hiftory of a rude age, and the chroni- Jamiefon and Weber, to difcontinue. 

cles which do not afford thefe marks Beamifti. 

of human credulity may be grievoufly 41 A.D. 1006. 
fufpefted as being deficient in authen- 

44 Icelandic Sagas. 


From the Heimfkringla, or Hi/lory of the Norwegian Kings, according to the 
id Vellum Codex of the Arnce-Magneean Collection, No. 45, Folio. 

THE fame winter 42 was Leif, the fon of Erik the Red, 
with King Olaf, in good repute, and embraced Chriftianity. 
But the fummer that Giffur went to Iceland, King Olaf fent 
Leif to Greenland, in order to make known Chriftianity 
there ; he failed the fame fummer to Greenland. He found, 
in the fea, fome people on a wreck, and helped them ; the 
fame time difcovered he Vinland the Good, and came in 
harveft to Greenland. He had with him a prieft, and other 
clerks, and went to dwell at Brattahlid with Erik, his father. 
Men called him afterwards Leif the Lucky ; but Erik, his 
father, faid that thefe two things went one againft the other, 
inafmuch as Leif had faved the crew of the fhip, but 
brought evil men to Greenland; namely, the priefts. 


From the Hi/lory of Olaf Tryggvafon, Chap. 231, id Vellum Codex of Arntz- 
Magncean Collection, No. 61, 54, 53, Folio. 

THE fame fpring fent King Olaf, as is before related, 
Giffur and Hjelte to Iceland. Then fent the king alfo 
Leif Erikfon to Greenland to make known Chriftianity 


* 2 The fame year that he fent Giffur country; viz.,A.D. 1000. VideLaing's 
and Hiate to Iceland, when Chriftian- Heimjkringla, London, 1844, Vol. I. 
ity was introduced by law into that p. 465 ; also antea, note 3. 

Icelandic Sagas. 45 

there. 43 The king gave him a prieft, and fome other holy 
men, to baptize the people there, and teach them the true 
faith. Leif failed that fummer to Greenland ; he took up 
in the fea the men of a fliip which was entirely loft, and 
lay a complete broken wreck ; and on this fame voyage 
difcovered he Vinland the Good, and came in the end of 
the fummer to Greenland, and went to live at Brattahlid 
with Erik, his father. People called him afterwards Leif 
the Lucky ; but Erik his father faid that thefe two things 
went againft each other, fmce Leif had affifted the crew of 
the fhip, and faved them from death, and that he had 
brought injurious men (fo called he the priefls) to Green- 
land ; but ftill, after the counfel and inftigation of Leif, was 
Erik baptized, and all the people in Greenland. 


Genealogy of Thorfinn Karlfefne, his Voyage to Greenland, and Marriage 
with Gudrid, the Widow of Thorflein Erikfon. 


THERE was a man named Thord, who lived at Hofda in 
Hofda ftrand; he married Fridgerda, daughter of Thorer 


43 For the rigorous manner in which name of Karlfefne ; /.*., deftined to be- 
King Olaf reduced his fubjefts to the come a great man. This diftinguifhed 
Chriftian faith, fee Laing's Heimf- individual was a wealthy and powerful 
kringla, London, 1844, Vol. I. Saga VI. Icelandic merchant, defcended from 

44 Next in importance and intereft an illuftrious line of Danifh, Swedifh, 
to the Saga of Erik the Red is that Norwegian, Irifh, and Scottifh ancef- 
of Thorfinn, with the fignificant fur- tors, fome of whom were kings, or of 



Icelandic Sagas. 

Hyma, and Fridgerda, daughter of Kjarval, king of the Irifh. 
Thord was the fon of Bjarni Byrdufmjor, fon of Thorvald 
Ryg, fon of Afleik, fon of Bjarni Jarnfid, fon of Ragnar 
Lodbrok. They had a fon called Snorri ; he married 
Thorhild Rjupa, daughter of Thord Cellar; their fon was 
Thord Hefthofdi. Thord's fon was named THORFINN 
KARLSEFNE ; Thorfinn's mother was called Thorum. Thor- 
finn took to trading voyages, and was thought an able 
feaman and merchant. One fummer Karlfefne fitted out 
his fhip, and purpofed a voyage to Greenland. Snorri 
Thorbrandfon, of Alptafjord, went with him, and there were 
forty men in the fhip. There was a man called Bjarni 


royal blood. The narrative of his ex- 
ploits is taken from two ancient Ice- 
landic MSS. not previoufly known to 
the literati, and one of which, there is 
every reafon to believe, is a genuine 
autograph of the celebrated Hauk 
Erlendfon, who was lagman, or chief 
governor, of Iceland in 1295, and one 
of the compilers of the Landndmabdk : 
he was alfo a defcendant of Karlfefne 
in the ninth generation. This very re- 
markable Saga forms part of the Arnae- 
Magnasan Collection, and betides fhort 
notices of the difcoveries of the ear- 
lier voyagers, which are more fully 
defcribed in the Saga of Erik the Red, 
gives detailed accounts of voyages to 
and difcoveries in America, carried on 
by Karlfefne and his companions for a 
period of three years, commencing in 
1007. Some difcrepancies and mifno- 
mers appear in thofe parts of the nar- 
rative which treat of the perfonages 
and events recorded in the preceding 
Saga ; but they are only fuch as to pre- 
clude all fufpicion of confederacy or 
fraud on the part of the writers, as all 

the main fatts are fubftantially the 
fame in both ; and the circumftance of 
the Saga of Erik having been written 
in Greenland, while that of Karlfefne 
was written in Iceland, is fufficient to 
account for thefe variations. The fame 
circumftance, alfo, renders the former 
the beft authority in all matters of de- 
tail connected with Greenland, while 
the other muft be confidered more cor- 
rect: refpecting occurrences relating to 
Iceland. Thefe differences are pointed 
out in the notes ; and where any minor 
points of interefting detail connected 
with the voyage of Karlfefne appear in 
the Saga of Erik the Red, while they 
are abfent in Karlfefne's Saga, they 
have been fupplied from that of Erik, 
the interpolation being pointed out. 

Torfaeus imagined that the Saga 
of Thorfinn Karlfefne was loft, and the 
only knowlege he had of its contents 
was derived from fome corrupt extracts 
contained in the collection of materials 
for the hiftory of ancient Greenland, 
left by the Icelandic yeoman, Bjorn 
Johnfon of Skardfo. Beami/h. 

Icelandic Sagas. 47 

Grimolfson, of Breidafjord ; another called Thorhall Gam- 
lafon, an Eaftfjordifh man ; they fitted out their fhip the 
fame fummer for Greenland : there were alfo forty men in 
the fhip. Karlfefne and the others put to fea with thefe 
two mips, fo foon as they were ready. Nothing is told 
about how long they were at fea, but it is to be related that 
both thefe mips came to Eriksfjord in the autumn. 45 Erik 46 
rode to the fhip together with feveral of the inhabitants, 
and they began to deal in a friendly manner. Both the 
mips' captains begged Erik (Leif) to take as much of the 
goods as he wifhed ; but Erik (Leif), on his fide, mowed 
them hofpitality, and bade the crews of thefe two fliips 
home, for the winter, to his own houfe at Brattahlid. This 
the merchants accepted, and thanked him. Then were 
their goods removed to Brattahlid ; there was no want of 
large out-houfes to keep the goods in, neither plenty of 
every thing that was required : wherefore they were well 
fatisfied in the winter. But towards Yule Erik (Leif) began 
to be filent, and was lefs cheerful than he ufed to be. One 
time turned Karlfefne towards Erik (Leif) and faid : " Haft 
thou any forrow, Erik, my friend ? people think to fee that 
thou art lefs cheerful than thou wert wont to be ; thou haft 


46 A.D. 1006. been written in Greenland, and that of 

46 This is evidently a mifnomer Thorfinn Karlfefne in Iceland, which 

throughout the Saga, and fhould be will account for this and other difcre- 

Leif , who was now in pofleflion of the pancies between the two narratives. 

paternal eftate, his father Erik having Beamijh. 

died, as flated in the former narra- This does not feem to us to account 

tive, the winter after Leif's return from for this error. That it was an error is 

Vinland (1001), and confequently five obvious. The manner in which the 

years previous to the events recorded Sagas came into written form furnifh 

here. The Saga of Erik the Red, it numberlefs ways in which errors might 

muft be recollected, appears to have creep in. Vide Introduction. 

48 Icelandic Sagas. 

entertained us with the greateft fplendor, and we are 
bound to return it to thee with fuch fervices as we can com- 
mand ; fay now, what troubles thee ? " Erik (Leif) anfvvered : 
" Ye are friendly and thankful, and I have no fear as con- 
cerns our intercourfe, that ye will feel the want of attention ; 
but, on the other hand, I fear that when ye come elfewhere 
it will be faid that ye have never paffed a worfe Yule than 
that which now approaches, when Erik the Red entertained 
ye at Brattahlid, in Greenland." " It mail not be fo, Yeo- 
man ! " faid Karlfefne ; " we have in our fhip both malt and 
corn ; take as much as thou delireft thereof, and make 
ready a feaft as grand as thou wilt ! " This Erik (Leif) 
accepted ; and now preparation was made for the feaft of 
Yule, and this feaft was fo grand that people thought they 
had hardly ever feen the like pomp in a poor land. And 
after Yule, Karlfefne difclofed to Erik (Leif) that he wifhed 
to marry Gudrid, for it feemed to him as if he muft have 
the power in this matter. Erik anfwered favorably, and 
faid that fhe muft follow her fate, and that he had heard 
nothing but good of him ; and it ended fo that Thorfinn 
married Thurid (Gudrid) ; and then was the feaft extended ; 
and their marriage was celebrated ; and this happened at 
Brattahlid, in the winter. 


IN Brattahlid began people to talk much about, that 
Vinland the Good mould be explored, and it was faid that 
a voyage thither would be particularly profitable by reafon 
of the fertility of the land ; and it went fo far that Karlfefne 


Icelandic Sagas. 49 

and Snorri made ready their fliip to explore the land in the 
fpring. With them went alfo the before-named men called 
Bjarni and Thorhall, with their fhip. There was a man called 
Thorvard ; he married Freydis, a natural daughter of Erik 
the Red ; he went alfo with them, and Thorvald the fon of 
Erik, 47 and Thorhall who was called the hunter ; he had 
long been with Erik, and ferved him as huntfman in fum- 
mer, and fteward in winter ; he was a large man, and ftrong, 
black, and like a giant, Client and foul-mouthed in his fpeech, 
and always egged on Erik to the worft: he was a bad 
Chriftian : he was well acquainted with uninhabited parts : 
he was in the fhip with Thorvard and Thorvald. They 
had the fliip which Thorbjorn had brought out [from Ice- 
land]. They had in all one hundred and fixty men 48 when 
they failed to the weflern fettlement, and from thence to 
Bjanney. Then failed they two days to the fouth ; then 
faw they land, and put off boats, and explored the land, 
and found there great flat ftones, many of which were twelve 


47 Here is again evidently fome con- 48 Literally "40 men and a hun- 

fufion of names, as Thorvald Erikfon's dred" [40 manna oh hundrad], but 

death has been previoufly related in the great or long hundred muft be 

the Saga of Erik the Red, and Karl- underftood, confifting of 12 decades, 

fefne was now married to his widow or 120. Antiq. Amer., p. 137, note b. 

Gudricl : it feems probable that fome Thus Tegner, defcribing the drinking 

other Thorvald accompanied Karlfefne hall of Frithiof : 
on this voyage. See Antiq. Amer,, 

Prafatio, p. xiv. "Ei femhundrade man [til tio tolfter^a. hun- 

In the preceding feftion it is ftated drat] 

that Thorfinn married Thurid : me was F y lld( ? den T 11 ^, fal > nar de famlats att 

fometimes alfo called Gudrid. Profeffor ** m ^ Fritkiofs Saga IIL| l8 . 
Rafn thinks it probable that me was 

called by the former in childhood, Not five hundred men (though ten twelves 

which was a pagan name derived from y u Y nt *? JJS^SS^ ~ 

j T-U u I ,,.,1 r~~ -ai:~ Could nil that wide hall, when they gathered 

the god Thor, but afterward for rehg- to ban at Yule> _2 Beamifh . 

lous reafons Gudrid was adopted in 
its place. Vide Beami/h. 

50 Icelandic Sagas. 

ells broad : foxes were there. They gave the land a name, 
and called it HELLULAND. 49 Then failed they two days, 
and turned from the fouth to the fouth-eaft, and found a 
land covered with wood, and many wild beafts upon it : an 
ifland lay there out from the land to the fouth-eaft ; there 
killed they a bear, and called the place afterwards Bear 
ifland, 50 but the land MARKLAND. Thence failed they far to 
the fouthward along the land, and came to a nefs ; the land 
lay upon the right; there were long and fandy ftrands. 
They rowed to land, and found there upon the nefs the 
keel of a fhip, and called the place Kjalarnefs, 51 and the 
ftrands they called Furduftrands, for it was long to fail by 
them. Then became the land indented with coves ; they 
ran the fhip into a cove. King Olaf Tryggvafon had given 
Leif two Scotch people, a man called Haki, and a woman 
called Hekja ; they were fwifter than beafts. Thefe people 
were in the fhip with Karlfefne ; but when they had failed 


49 The whole of the northern coaft contracted from Bjarnarey ; but the 

of America, weft of Greenland, was common pronunciation of the latter is 

called by the ancient Icelandic geogra- Bjadney or Bjanney. Antiq. Amer., 

phers Helluland it Mikla, or Great p. 138, note c. Beamijh. 
Helluland ; and the Ifland of New- M In the vifit of Thorvald, the fon 

foundland fimply Helluland, or Litla of Erik the Red, to Vinland, in 1002, 

Helluland. Beami/h. Helluland, ita four years before this prefent voyage, 

diftam aut ob ingentes pianos, qui ibi the keel of his fhip had been broken 

funt, lapides \hella, gen. hellu, pi. hel- off on a nefs, where he remained fome 

lur\, aut ea ratione, quod terras illius time to repair it. Was not the keel 

litora plana fuerint et dura. Reperi- found by Karlfefne the fame which had 

mus apud antiques duas terras hoc no- been broken off in the voyage of Thor- 

mine infignitas, quarum una appellata vald ? Does not the accident to the 

eft Helluland hit mikla, Hellulandia keel, and the repairs upon it at this 

Major, altera Litla Helluland, Hellu- place, furnifh fufficient reafon for nam- 

landia Minor. Antiq. Amer., p. 419. ing it Kjalarnefs ? Indeed it had been 

Vide Tab. XVI. Idem. fo named in the previous voyage. Vide 

60 Bjanney, from Bjorn, a bear, gen. antea, p. 38. 
bjarnar, and ey, ifland : hence Bjarney 

Icelandic Sagas. 51 

pad Furduftrands, then fet they the Scots on fhore, and 
bade them run to the fouthward of the land, and explore its 
qualities, and come back again within three days. They 
had a fort of clothing which they called kjafal, which was 
fo made that a hat was on the top, and it was open at the fides, 
and no arms to it ; fattened together between the legs with 
buttons and clafps, but in other places it was open. They 
flayed away the appointed time ; but when they came back, 
the one had in the hand a bunch of grapes, and the other, 
a new fowen ear of wheat : thefe went on board the fliip, 
and after that failed they farther. They failed into a frith ; 
there lay an ifland before it, round which there were ftrong 
currents, therefore called they it Stream ifland. There 
were fo many eider ducks on the ifland, that one could 
fcarcely walk in confequence of the eggs. They called the 
place Stream frith. 52 They took their cargo from the fliip, 
and prepared to remain there. They had with them all 
forts of cattle. The country there was very beautiful. 
They undertook nothing but to explore the land. They 
were there for the winter without having provided food 
beforehand. In the fummer the fifhing declined, and they 
were badly off for provifions; then difappeared Thorhall 
the huntfman. They had previoufly made prayers to God 
for food, but it did not come fo quick as they thought their 
necefflties required. They fearched after Thorhall for three 
days, 53 and found him on the top of a rock ; there he lay, 


82 Straumfjord and Straumey, from M 3 daegr. There feems to be con- 
ftraumr, a current; ey, ifland; and fiderable ambiguity about the Icelandic 
fjord, frith : alfo, Furduftrandir, from words dagr and dcegr, which are arbi- 
fnrda, gen. furdu, wonderful, and trarilyufed to exprefs either the natural 
ftrond, pi. ftrandir, beach. Beami/h. day of 24 hours or the artificial day 


Icelandic Sagas. 

and looked up in the fky, and gaped both with nofe and 
mouth, and murmured fomething ; they afked him why he 
had gone there ; he faid it was no bufmefs of theirs ; they 
bade him come home with them, and he did fo. Soon after 
came there a whale, and they went thither, and cut it up, 
and no one knew what fort of whale it was; and when 
the cook dreffed it, then ate they, and all became ill in 
confequence. 54 Then faid Thorhall: "The red-bearded 55 
was more helpful than your Chrift ; this have I got now for 
my verfes that I fung of Thor, my protector ; feldom has he 
deferted me." But when they came to know this, they caft 


of 12 hours. Throughout this and the 
preceding narrative, dcegr is confidered 
by the editor to mean the artificial day, 
and dagr the natural day, hence 2 dcegr 
is rendered "a day and night" [Dan. 
"en Dag og en Nat," Lat. "noctem 
diemque,"] and 3 dcegr, "three half 
natural days" (36 hours) [Dan. "tre 
halve Dogn," Lat. "tria nychtheme- 
rium"]. But in a ftibfequent' narra- 
tive (De Ario Mario Filii, Antiq. 
Amer., p. 211) we find VI. dcegr 
rendered, in the Danifh verfion, " 6 
Dogn," and, in the Latin, "fex die- 
rum," thus applying the word dcegr to 
the natural day of 24 hours. Finn 
Magnufen, alfo, expreffly ftates that 
the artificial day was called dagr, and 
the natural day dcegr. See Mem. de 
la Soc. Roy. des Antiq. du Nord, 1836, 
1837, p. 165. Beamt/h. 

* 4 This whale was probably a fpe- 
cies of the Balcena phyfalis of Linnaeus, 
which was not edible, and, being rarely 
feen in the Greenland and Iceland feas, 
was unknown to the Northmen. A 
kind of whale called Balcena myftice- 
tus is mentioned by Ebeling, as having 
been formerly found on the coafts of 
Rhode Ifland and Mafiachufetts, re- 

vifiting the more fouthern latitudes in 
winter, and returning northwards in the 
fpring ; in after times, however, they 
difappeared altogether from the coafts ; 
and in the prefent day the number of 
whales in northern latitudes has much 
diminished. Idem. 

66 Thor, the eldest fon of Odin and 
Frigga, the ftrongeft of the Afer, and 
next to Odin in rank. 

"There fits on golden throne 

Aloft the god of war, 
Save Odin, yields to none 

'Mongft gods great Afer, Thor." 
Oehlenfchlager, Pigoit's Tran/lation. 

The introduction of Chriftianity be- 
ing but recent in Iceland, many of the 
Northmen ftill believed in Thor, or, em- 
bracing the new religion with a waver- 
ing faith, applied to the Afer gods in 
cafes of difficulty. " The remains of 
the worlhip of Thor lingered longer 
in the North than thofe of any of the 
other Scandinavian deities. In Nial's 
Saga, a female fkald fays to a Chrif- 
tian, ' Do you not know that Thor has 
challenged your Chrift to fingle com- 
bat, and that he dares not fight him ?' " 
Pigotfs Scandinavian Mythology^ 
p. 101. Idem. 

Icelandic Sagas. 53 

the whole whale into the fea, and refigned their cafe to 
God. Then the weather improved, and it was poffible to 
row out fifhing ; and they were not then in want of pro- 
vifions, for wild beafts were caught on the land, and fifh in 
the fea, and eggs collected on the ifland. 


So is faid that Thorhall would go to the northward along 
Furduftrands, to explore Vinland, but Karlfefne would go 
fouthwards along the coaft. Thorhall got ready, out under 
the ifland, and there were no more together than nine men ; 
but all the others went with Karlfefne. Now when Thor- 
hall bore water to his fhip, and drank, then fung he this 

People told me when I came 
Hither, all would be fo fine ; 
The good Vinland, known to fame, 
Rich in fruits, and choiceft wine ; 
Now the water pail they fend ; 
To the fountain I muft bend, 
Nor from out this land divine 
Have I quaffed one drop of wine. 

And when they were ready, and hoifted fail, then chaunted 
Thorhall : 

Let our trufty band 
Hafte to Fatherland ; 
Let our veffel brave 
Plough the angry wave, 
While thofe few who love 
Vinland, here may rove, 


54 Icelandic Sagas. 

Or, with idle toil, 
Fetid whales may boil, 
Here on Ferduftrand, 
Far from Fatherland. 56 

After that, failed they northwards pad Furduftrands and 
Kjalarnefs, and would cruife to the weftward; then came 
againft them a flrong weft wind, and they were driven away 
to Ireland, and were there beaten, and made flaves, accord- 
ing to what the merchants have faid. 

Now is to be told about Karlfefne, that he went to the 
fouthward along the coaft, and Snorri and Bjarni, with 
their people. They failed a long time, and until they came 
to a river, which ran out from the land, and through a lake, 
out into the fea. It was very mallow, and one could not 
enter the river without high water. Karlfefne failed, with his 
people, into the mouth, and they called the place Hop. 57 
They found there upon the land felf-fown fields of wheat, 
there where the ground was low, but vines there where it 
rofe fomewhat. Every ftream there was full of fim. They 
made holes there where the land commenced, and the 
waters rofe higheft; and when the tide fell, there were 
facred fifh 68 in the holes. There were a great number of 


68 Omnes has ftrophae antiquitatem M Helgir fifkar. This is fuppofed 

et genium fapiunt feculi lo"" 1 et 1 1 1 , to have been the fpecies of flounder or 

tarn quod attinet ad metaphoras, quam flat fifh, called by the Englifli halibut 

ceteram indolem. Rafn, Antiq. Amer., (Pleuroneftes hippoglajfus Linn., Hip- 

p. 144, note a. pogloffus vulgaris Cuv.), and which is 

57 I Hdpi, from the Icelandic word ftill called in Iceland " holy fifh " (hei- 

h6pa, to recede, and may fignify here lagfifki), a name given, according to 

either the recefs formed by the conflu- Pliny, in confequence of the prefence 

ence of a river and the fea, or the of thefe fifh being confidered to denote 

mouth of the river, or merely the inlet fafe water. Speaking of the danger to 

of the fea into which the river falls. be apprehended from the dog-fifh, he 

Beami/h. adds : " Certiffima eft fecuritas vidiffe 


Icelandic Sagas. 55 

all kinds of wild beafts in the woods. They remained there 
a half month, and amufed themfelves, and did not perceive 
any thing [new] : they had their cattle with them. And 
one morning early, when they looked round, faw they a 
great many canoes, and poles were fwung upon them, and 
it founded like the wind in a ftraw-ftack, and the fwinging 
was with the fun. Then faid Karlfef ne : " What may this 
denote ? " Snorri Thorbrandfon anfwered him : " It may 
be that this is a fign of peace, fo let us take a white fliield, 
and hold it towards them ; " and fo did they. Upon this the 
others rowed towards them, and looked with wonder upon 
thofe that they met, and went up upon the land. Thefe 
people were black, and ill favored, and had coarfe hair on 
the head ; they had large eyes and broad cheeks. They 
remained there for a time, and gazed upon thofe that they 
met, and rowed afterwards away to the fouthward, round 
the nefs. 

Karlfefne and his people had made their dwellings above 
the lake, and fome of the houfes were near the water, others 
more diftant. Now were they there for the winter ; there 
came no fnow, and all their cattle fed themfelves on the 
grafs. But when fpring 59 approached, faw they one morn- 
ing early that a number of canoes rowed from the fouth 
round the nefs; fo many, as if the fea were fowen with 
coal : poles were alfo fwung on each boat. Karlfefne and 
his people then raifed up the fhield, and when they came 
together, they began to barter; and thefe people would 


pianos pifces, quia nunquam funt, ubi nantes facros appellant eos." Hifl. 
maleficae beftiae : qua de caufa uri- Nat., Lib. ix. Beamijh. 

89 A.D. 1009. 

56 Icelandic Sagas. 

rather have red cloth [than any thing elfe] ; for this they 
had to offer fkins and real furs. They would alfo pur- 
chafe fwords and fpears, but this Karlfefne and Snorri 
forbade. For an entire fur fkin the Skraelings took a piece 
of red cloth, a fpan long, and bound it round their heads. 
Thus went on their traffic for a time ; then the cloth began 
to fall fhort among Karlfefne and his people, and they cut 
it afunder into fmall pieces, which were not wider than the 
breadth of a ringer, and ftill the Skraelings gave juft as 
much for that as before, and more. 60 

It happened that a bull, which Karlfefne had, ran out 
from the wood and roared aloud ; this frightened the Skrael- 
ings, and they rufhed to their canoes, and rowed away to 
the fouthward, round the coafl: after that they were not 
feen for three entire weeks. But at the end of that time, a 
great number of Skraelings' mips were feen coming from 
the fouth like a rufhing torrent ; all the poles were turned 
from the fun, and they all howled very loud. Then took Karl- 
fefne's people a red fhield, and held it towards them. The 
Skraelings jumped out of their mips, and after this went 
they againft each other, and fought. There was a fharp 
mower of weapons, for the Skraelings had flings. Karlfefne's 
people faw that they raifed up on a pole an enormous large 
ball, fomething like a fheep's paunch, and of a blue color ; 


60 The Saga of Erik the Red, in elfe. "Thus," fays the Saga, "the 

giving an account of this tranfaftion, traffic of the Skraelings was wound up 

adds that Karlfefne, on the cloth being by their bearing away their purchafes 

expended, hit upon the expedient of in their ftomachs, but Karlfefne and his 

making the women take out milk por- companions retained their goods and 

ridge to the Skraelings, who, as foon as fkins." Antiq. Amer., pp. 59, 60. 

they faw this new article of commerce, Beamijh. 
would buy the porridge and nothing 

Icelandic Sagas. 57 

this fwung they from the pole over Karlfefne's men, upon 
the ground, and it made a frightful cram as it fell down. 61 
This caufed great alarm to Karlfefne and all his people, fo 
that they thought of nothing but running away, and they 
fell back along the river, for it appeared to them that the 
Skraelings preffed upon them from all fides ; and they did 
not flop until they came to fome rocks, where they made a 
ftout refinance. Freydis came out and faw that Karlfefne's 
people fell back, and me cried out : ' : Why do ye run, 
ftout men as ye are, before thefe miferable wretches, whom 
I thought ye would knock down like cattle ? and if I had 
weapons, methinks I could fight better than any of ye." 
They gave no heed to her words. Freydis would go with 
them, but me was flower, becaufe me was pregnant ; how- 
ever me followed after them into the wood. The Skraelings 
purfued her; me found a dead man before her: it was 
Thorbrand Snorrafon, and there flood a flat flone fluck in 
his head ; the fword lay naked by his fide ; this took me up, 
and prepared to defend herfelf. Then came the Skraelings 
towards her; me drew out her breails from under her 
clothes, and darned them againfl the naked fword ; by this 
the Skraelings became frightened, and ran off to their mips, 
and rowed away. Karlfefne and his people then came up, 
and praifed her courage. Two men fell on Karlfefne's fide, 
but a number of the Skraelings. Karlfefne's band was over- 

61 The nature of this miffile does marking its pofition after having been 

not exactly appear, but it probably had thrown. In the prefent inftance, ftones 

fome affinity with the harpoon ufed by would appear to have been added to 

the Efquimaux in fiming, and to which this contrivance. Antiq. Amer., p. 

is attached a bladder, as well for the 152, note b. Beami/h. 
purpofe of directing the weapon as of 


58 Icelandic Sagas. 

matched, and they now drew home to their dwellings, and 
bound their wounds; and they thought over what crowd 
that could have been, which had preffed upon them from the 
land fide, and it now appeared to them that it could fcarcely 
have been real people from the mips, but that thefe muft 
have been optical illufions. The Skraelings found alfo a 
dead man, and an axe lay by him ; one of them took up 
the axe, and cut wood with it, and now one after another 
did the fame, and thought it was an excellent thing, and bit 
well ; after that one took it, and cut at a ftone, fo that 
the axe broke, and then thought they it was of no ufe, 
becaufe it would not cut ftone, and they threw it away. 

Karlfefne and his people now thought they faw, that 
although the land had many good qualities, ftill would they 
be always expofed there to the fear of hoftilities from the 
earlier inhabitants. They propofed, therefore, to depart, 
and return to their own country. They failed northwards 
along the coaft, and found five Skraelings clothed in fkins, 
fleeping near the fea. They had with them veffels contain- 
ing animal marrow mixed with blood. Karlfefne's people 
thought they underftood that thefe men had been banifhed 
from the land : they killed them. After that came they to 
a nefs, and many wild beafts were there ; and the nefs was 
covered all over with dung, from the beafts which had lain 
there during the night. Now came they back to Straumfjord, 
and there was abundance of every thing that they wanted 
to have. It is fome men's fay, that Bjarni and Gudrid 
remained behind, and a hundred men with them, and did 
not go further ; but that Karlfefne and Snorri went fouth- 
wards, and forty men with them, and were not longer in 


Icelandic Sagas. 59 

Hope than barely two months, and the fame fummer came 
back. 62 Karlfefne went then with one fliip to feek after 
Thorhall the hunter, but the reft remained behind, and they 
failed northwards paft Kjalarnefs, and thence weftwards, 
and the land was upon their larboard hand ; there were wild 
woods over all, as far as they could fee, and fcarcely any 
open places. And when they had long failed, a river fell 
out of the land from eaft to weft ; they put in to the mouth 
of the river, and lay by its fouthern bank. 


IT happened one morning that Karlfefne and his people 
faw, oppofite an open place in the wood, a fpeck which 
gliftened in their fight, and they fhouted out towards it, and 
it was a uniped, 63 which thereupon hurried down to the bank 
of the river, where they lay. Thorvald Erikfon flood at the 
helm, and the uniped fliot an arrow into his bowels. Thor- 
vald drew out the arrow, and faid : " It has killed me ! to 

62 This paflage is evidently the ftate- Wormfkiold defcribes as a triangular 
mentof an imperfeft tradition, to which cloth, hanging down fo low, both be- 
the writer of the Saga gave no credit ; fore and behind, that the feet were con- 
and, although only involving a queftion cealed. In an old mifcellaneous work, 
of time, it mud be rejected as incon- called "Rimbegla," published at Copen- 
fiftent with the previous details: its hagen in 1780, a people of this denomi- 
infertion, however, is flrongly charac- nation, inhabiting Blaland in Ethiopia, 
teriftic of the candor and honefty of are thus defcribed : "Einfoetingar hafa 
the writer, who is obvioufly defirous of fva mikinn f6t vid jord, at their fkyggja 
flating all that he has heard upon the fdr med honum vid folarhita i fvefni," 
fubject. Beamijh. i.e., fays Profeffor Rafn, " Unipedes 

63 Einfoetingr, from ein, one, and plantam pedis tarn amplam habent, ut 
f6tr, foot. This term appears to have ipfis dormientibus fit umbraculi." 
been given by ancient writers to fome Antiq. Amer., p. 158, note a, 
of the Indian tribes, in confequence Idem. 

of the peculiarity of their drefs, which 

60 Icelandic Sagas. 

a fruitful land have we come, but hardly fhall we enjoy any 
benefit from it." Thorvald foon after died of this wound. 64 
Upon this the uniped ran away to the northward ; Karl- 
fefne and his people went after him, and faw him now and 
then, and the laft time they faw him, he ran out into a 
bay. Then turned they back, and a man chaunted thefe 

verfes : 

The people chafed 
A Uniped 

Down to the beach ; 
But lo ! he ran 
Straight o'er the fea. 
Hear thou, Thorfinn ! 

They drew off then, and to the northward, and thought 
they faw the country of the Unipeds ; they would not then 
expofe their people any longer. They looked upon the 
mountain range that was at Hope, and that which they 
now found, as all one, and it alfo appeared to be equal 
length from Straumfjord to both places. The third winter 65 
were they in Straumfjord. They now became much divided 
by party feeling, and the women were the caufe of it, for 
thofe who were unmarried would injure thofe that were 
married, and hence arofe great difturbance. There was 
born the first autumn w Snorri, Karlfefne's fon, and he was 


64 Compare antea, p. 39. The dif- 66 Snorri was born in Vinland, A.D. 
crepancy in the two accounts of the 1007. From him, according to a gene- 
death of Thorvald is perhaps no more alogical table introduced into " Antiqui- 
than is to be expected, when we con- tates Americanae " by Profeffor Rafn, 
fider the mutations to which the fagas are lineally defcended a large number 
were expofed before they were reduced of diftinguifhed Scandinavians. Among 
to writing. them we note the following : Snorri 

66 A.D. 1009, 1010. Sturlefon, the celebrated hiftorian, b. 


Icelandic Sagas. 61 

three years old when they went away. When they failed 
from Vinland, they had a fouth wind, and came then to 
Markland, and found there five Skraelings, and one was 
bearded ; two were females, and two boys ; they took the 
boys, but the others efcaped, and the Skraslings fank down 
in the ground. Thefe two boys took they with them ; they 
taught them the language, and they were baptized. They 
called their mother Vathelldi, and their father Uvaege. 
They faid that two kings ruled over the Skraelings, and 
that one of them was called Avalldania, but the other 
Valldidida. They faid that no houfes were there; people 
lay in caves or in holes. They faid there was a land on the 
other fide, juft oppofite their country, where people lived 
who wore white clothes, and carried poles before them, and 
to thefe were faftened flags, and they fhouted loud; and 
people think that this was WHITE-MAN'S-LAND, OR GREAT 


Bjarni Grimolfson was driven with his fhip into the Irifh 
ocean, and they came into a worm-fea, 68 and ftraightway 
began the fhip to fink under them. They had a boat which 
was fmeared with feal oil, for the fea-worms do not attack 


1178; Bertel Thorvaldfon, the eminent conftant opposition of the winds and 

fculptor, b. 1770 ; Finn Magnufen, b. currents, and by the condition of the 

1781 ; Birgen Thorlacius, profeffor in mips, which were pierced on all parts 

Copenhagen, b. 1775 ; Grim Thorkelin, by the teredo, or worm." Irving's 

profeffor in Copenhagen, and many Columbus, p. 287. " Continuing along 

others earlier in the line. the coaft eaftward, he was obliged to 

67 Hvitramannaland eda Irland ed abandon one of the caravels in the har- 

mykla. bor of Puerto Bello, being fo pierced 

88 Madkfjd. Probably waters in- by the teredo that it was impoffible to 

fefted with the Teredo navalis, from keep her afloat." /., p. 303. The 

which the mips of Columbus received Teredo navalis, and its deftrulive ef- 

fuch injury in a more fouthern latitude. fe6ls, may ftill be feen on the fouth 

" The leamen were difheartened by the coaft of Ireland. Beamijh. 

62 Icelandic Sagas. 

that: they went into the boat, and then faw that it could 
not hold them all ; then faid Bjarni : " Since the boat can- 
not give room to more than the half of our men, it is my 
counfel that lots mould be drawn for thofe to go in the 
boat, for it mail not be according to rank." This thought 
they all fo high-minded an offer, that no one would fpeak 
againft it ; they then did fo that lots were drawn, and it 
fell upon Bjarni to go in the boat, and the half of the 
men with him, for the boat had not room for more. But 
when they had gotten into the boat, then faid an Icelandic 
man, who was in the fliip, and had come with Bjarni from 
Iceland : " Doft thou intend, Bjarni, to feparate from me 
here ? " Bjarni anfwered : " So it turns out." Then faid 
the other : " Very different was thy promife to my father, 
when I went with thee from Iceland, than thus to abandon 
me, for thou faid'ft that we mould both mare the fame fate." 
Bjarni replied : " It mall not be thus ; go thou down into 
the boat, and I will go up into the fhip, fince I fee that thou 
art fo delirous to live." Then went Bjarni up into the fhip, 
but this man down into the boat, and after that continued 
they their voyage, until they came to Dublin in Ireland, 69 
and told there thefe things ; but it is moft people's belief 
that Bjarni and his companions were loft in the worm-fea, 
for nothing was heard of them fmce that time. 


69 At this period the Northmen were of Dublin. See Moore, Vol. II. p. 
ftill numerous in the fea-port towns of 105. Beamifh. 
Ireland, Sitric the Dane being King 

Icelandic Sagas. 63 


THE next fummer 70 went Karlfefne to Iceland, and 
Gudrid with him, and he went home to Reynifnefs. His 
mother thought that he had made a bad match, and there- 
fore was Gudrid not at home the firil winter. But when 
me obferved that Gudrid was a diftinguifhed woman, went 
fhe home, and they agreed very well together. The daugh- 
ter of Snorri Karlfefneffon was Hallfrid, mother to Bifhop 
Thorlak Runolfson. They had a fon who was called 
Thorbjorn, his daughter was called Thorunn, mother to 
Bifhop Bjorn. The fon of Snorri Karlfefneffon was called 
Thorgeir, father to Yngvild, mother of Bifhop Brand the 
firft. A daughter of Snorri Karlfefneffon was alfo Steinum, 
who married Einar, fon of Grundarketil, fon of Thorvald 
Krok, the fon of Thorer, of Efpihol ; their fon was Thor- 
ftein Ranglatr; he was father to Gudrun, who married 
Jorund of Keldum ; their daughter was Halla, mother to 
Flofe, father of Valgerde, mother of Herr Erlend Sterka, 
father of Herr Hauk the Lagman. 71 Another daughter of 
Flofe was Thordis, mother of Fru Ingigerd the Rich ; her 
daughter was Fru Hallbera, Abbefs of Stad at Reinifnefs. 
Many other great men in Iceland are defcended from Karl- 
fefne and Thurid, who are not here mentioned. God be 

with us! Amen ! , r 


70 A.D. ion. In another narrative Karlfefne parted the winter of 1010 at 

of Karlfefne, which follows the prefent Eriksfjord in Greenland. Compare 

in the " Antiquitates Americanae," as Antiq. Amer., pp. 64-183. Beamijh. 

well as in the fhort account of thefe 71 Hauk Erlendfon the laft contrib- 

farne occurrences contained in the utor to the Landnamab<5k. Idem. 
Saga of Erik the Red, it is ftated that 

64 Icelandic Sagas. 

A. D. ion. 

Freydis caufes the brothers to be killed. 72 

Now began people again to talk about expeditions to 
Vinland, for voyages thereto appeared both profitable and 
honorable. The fame fummer that Karlfefne came from 
Vinland, 73 came alfo a fhip from Norway to Greenland ; this 
fhip fleered two brothers, Helgi and Finnbogi, and they 
remained for the winter in Greenland. Thefe brothers 
were Icelanders by defcent, and from Auftfjord. It is now 
to be told that Freydis, Erik's daughter, went from her 
home at Garde to the brothers Helgi and Finnbogi, and 
bade them that they mould fail to Vinland with their 
veffels, and go halves with her in all the profits which 
might be there made. To this they agreed. Then went 
me to Leif, her brother, and begged him to give her the 
houfes which he had caufed to be built in Vinland ; but he 
anfwered the fame as before, that he would lend the houfes, 
but not give them. So was it fettled between the brothers 
and Freydis, that each mould have thirty fighting men in 
the fhip, befides women. But Freydis broke this agree- 
ment, and had five men more, and hid them ; fo that the 
brothers knew not of it before they came to Vinland. 


This narrative is contained in the more perfpicuous, as on account of the 

Saga of Erik the Red (Antiq. Amer., further particulars relating to Karlfefne 

p. 65, feq.), but has been transferred to and Gudrid, with which it concludes. 

this place, as well to make the chrono- Beamijh. 
logical order of the various voyages 73 A.D. 1010. 

Icelandic Sagas. 65 

Now failed they into the fea, and had before arranged that 
they fhould keep together, if it could fo be, and there was 
little difference ; but ftill came the brothers fomewhat before, 
and had taken up their effects to Leif's houfes. But when 
Freydis came to land, then cleared they out their fhips, and 
bore up their goods to the houfe. Then faid Freydis : 
" Why bring ye in your things here ? " " Becaufe we be- 
lieved," faid they, " that the whole agreement fhould fland 
good between us." " To me lent Leif the houfes," quoth 
fhe, " and not to you." Then faid Helgi : " In malice are 
we brothers eafily excelled by thee." Now took they out 
their goods, and made a feparate building, and fet that 
building further from the ftrand, on the edge of a lake, and 
put all around in good order; but Freydis had trees cut 
down for her fhip's loading. Now began winter, and the 
brothers propofed to fet up fports, and have fome amufe- 
ment. So was done for a time, until evil reports and 
difcord fprung up amongft them, and there was an end of 
the fports ; and nobody came from the one houfe to the 
other, and fo it went on for a long time during the winter. 
It happened one morning early that Freydis got up from 
her bed, and dreffed herfelf, but took no Ihoes or ftockings ; 
and the weather was fuch that much dew had fallen. She 
took her hufband's cloak, and put it on, and then went to 
the brothers' houfe, and to the door ; but a man had gone 
out a little before, and left the door half open. She opened 
the door, and flood a little time in the opening, and was 
filent ; but Finnbogi lay infide the houfe, and was awake. 
He faid : " What wilt thou here, Freydis ? " She faid : " I 
wifh that thou wouldefl get up. and go out with me, for I 



66 Icelandic Sagas. 

will fpeak with thee." He did fo. They went to a tree, that 
lay near the dwellings, and fat down there. " How art thou 
fatisfied here ? " faid me. He anfwered : " Well think I of 
the land's fruitfulnefs, but ill do I think of the difcord that 
has fprung up betwixt us, for it appears to me that no 
caufe has been given." u Thou fayeft as it is," faid fhe, 
"and fo think I; but my bufmefs here with thee is that I 
wifh to change mips with thy brother, for ye have a larger 
fhip than I, and it is my wifh to go from hence." " That 
muft I agree to," faid he, " if fuch is thy wifh." Now with 
that they feparated. She went home, and Finnbogi to his 
bed. She got into the bed with cold feet, and thereby woke 
Thorvard, and he afked why fhe was fo cold and wet. She 
anfwered, with much vehemence : " I was gone," faid fhe, 
" to the brothers, to make a bargain with them about their 
fhip, for I wifhed to buy the large fhip ; but they took it fo 
ill, that they beat me, and ufed me fhamefully ; but thou ! 
miferable man ! wilt furely neither avenge my difgrace or 
thine own, and it is eafy to fee that I am no longer in 
Greenland, and I will feparate from thee if thou avengefl 
not this." And now could he no longer withftand her 
reproaches, and bade his men to get up with all fpeed, and 
take their arms ; and fo did they, and went ftraightway to 
the brothers' houfe, and went in, and fell upon them fleeping, 
and then took and bound them, and thus led out one after 
the other ; but Freydis had each of them killed, as he came 
out. Now were all the men there killed, and only women 
remained, and them would no one kill. Then faid Freydis : 
" Give me an axe ! " So was done ; upon which me killed 
the five women that were there, and did not flop until they 


Icelandic Sagas. 67 

were all dead. Now they went back to their houfe after 
this evil work, and Freydis did not appear otherwife than 
as if fhe had done well, and fpoke thus to her people : " If 
it be permitted us to come again to Greenland," faid fhe, 
" I will take the life of that man who tells of this bufmefs ; 
now mould we fay this, that they remained behind when we 
went away." Now early in the fpring made they ready the 
fhip that had belonged to the brothers, and loaded it with 
all the befl things they could get, and the (hip could carry. 
After that they put to fea, and had a quick voyage, and 
came to Eriksfjord with the fhip early in the fummer. 
Now Karlfefne was there, and had his fhip quite ready for 
fea, and waited for a fair wind ; and it is generally faid, that 
no richer fhip has ever gone from Greenland than that 
which he fleered. 


FREYDIS repaired now to her dwelling, which, in the 
mean time, had flood uninjured ; me gave great gifts to all 
her companions, that they mould conceal her mifdeeds, and 
fat down now in her houfe. All were not, however, fo 
mindful of their promifes to conceal their crimes and 
wickednefs but that it came out at laft. Now finally it 
reached the ears of Leif, her brother, and he thought very 
ill of the bufmefs. Then took Leif three men of Freydif 's 
band, and tortured them to confefs the whole occurrence, 
and all their ftatements agreed. " I like not," faid Leif, 
" to do that to Freydis, my fifler, which fhe has deferved ; 


68 Icelandic Sagas. 

but this will I predict, that thy pofterity will never thrive." 
Now the confequence was, that no one, from that time 
forth, thought otherwife than ill of them. 

Now muft we begin from the time when Karlfefne got 
ready his fhip, and put to fea. He had a profperous voyage, 
and came fafe and found to Norway, and remained there 
for the winter, and fold his goods, and both he and his wife 
were held in great honor by the moft refpeclable men in 
Norway. But the fpring after, fitted he out his fhip for 
Iceland ; and when he was all ready, and his fliip lay at the 
bridge, waiting for a fair wind, then came there a fouthern 
to him, who was from Bremen in Saxony, and wanted to 
buy from Karlfefne his houfe broom. 74 " I will not fell it," 
faid he. " I will give thee a half mark gold for it," faid the 
German. Karlfefne thought this was a good offer, and they 
clofed the bargain. The fouthern went off with the houfe 
broom, but Karlfefne knew not what wood it was ; but that 
was maufur, 75 brought from Vinland. Now Karlfefne put to 
fea, and came with his fhip to Skagafjord, on the northern 
coaft, and there was the fliip laid up for the winter. But in 


74 Hdfafnotru. Some doubts have Haldorfon. See Antiq. Amer., p. 

arifen as to the meaning of this word, 441, note c, and Lexicon IJlandico- 

which Finn Magnufen thinks is here Latino- Danicum Bibrnonis Haldor- 

intended to exprefs a vane or weather- fonii ex manufcriptis Legati Arna 

cock, fuch appendages having been Magnceani cura, R. K. Raflcii editum. 

formerly ornamented by the North- Hafniae, 1814, 4to. Beamijh. 
men, at great coft, and placed on the 75 Mr. Beamifh fuggefts that this 

top of the houfe. The price given may be the bird's eye or curled maple, 

(about ;i6 fterling) is alfo more ac- and fays that the old German name 

cordant with this interpretation. Tor- of maple, maa/Jiolderbaum, and the 

faeus calls it "coronis domus," which Swedifli, mafur, fpeckled wood, and 

feems to imply fome ornamental appen- mafurerad, applied to knotty, or mar- 

dage of the kind : the editor (Profeflbr ble-like wood, tend to confirm this fup- 

Rafn) has followed the Lexicon of Bjorn pofition. 

Icelandic Sagas. 69 

fpring bought he Glaumbseland, and fixed his dwelling 
there, and lived there, and was a highly refpecled man, and 
from him and Gudrid his wife has fprung a numerous and 
diftinguifhed race. And when Karlfefne was dead, took 
Gudrid the management of the houfe with her fon Snorri, 
who was born in Vinland. But when Snorri was married, 
then went Gudrid abroad, and travelled fouthwards, and 
came back again to the houfe of Snorri her fon, and then 
had he caufed a church to be built at Glaumbas. After this 
became Gudrid a nun and reclufe, and remained fo whilft 
fhe lived. Snorri had a fon who was named Thorgeir; 
he was father to Ingveld, mother of Bifhop Brand. The 
daughter of Snorri Karlfefneffon was called Hallfrid ; fhe 
was mother to Rimolf, father to Bifhop Thorlak. 76 Bjorn 
was a fon of Karlfefne and Gudrid ; he was father to 
Thorunn, mother of Bifhop Bjorn. A numerous race are 
defcended from Karlfefne, and diftinguifhed men ; and Karl- 
fefne has accurately related to all men the occurrences on 
all thefe voyages, of which fomewhat is now recited here. 77 


76 "To the learned Bifhop Thorlak 77 It would appear that Karlfefne 

Runolfson we are principally indebted himfelf narrated originally the events 

for the oldeft ecclefiaftical code of Ice- that occurred on thefe voyages, and 

land, publifhed in the year 1123 ; and that only the more important portions 

it is alfo probable that the accounts of were written out by the fagaman ; that 

thefe voyages were originally compiled it was not written till a numerous race 

by him." Vide Synopfis of Hiftorical of diftinguifhed men had defcended 

Evidence in this Volume, by Profeffor from Kalfefne. Vide Genealogical 

Rafn. Table in Appendix to Antiq. Amer. 

7o Icelandic Sagas. 



NEXT to Denmark is the leffer Sweden, then is CEland, 
then Gottland, then Helfmgeland, then Vermeland, and the 
two Kvendlands, which lie to the north of Bjarmeland. 
From Bjarmeland ftretches uninhabited land towards the 
north, until Greenland begins. South of Greenland is Hellu- 
land ; next lies Markland ; thence it is not far to Vinland the 
Good, which fome think goes out from Africa; and if it 
be fo, the fea muft run in between Vinland and Markland. 
It is related that Thorfinn Karlfefne cut wood here to 
ornament his houfe, 79 and went afterwards to feek out Vin- 
land the Good, and came there, where they thought the 
land was, but did not effe<5l the knowledge of it, and gained 
none of the riches of the land. Leif the Lucky firft dif- 
covered Vinland, and then he met fome merchants in diftrefs 
at fea, and, by God's mercy, faved their lives; and he 
introduced Chriflianity into Greenland, and it fpread itfelf 
there, fo that a Bifhop's feat was eftablifhed in the place 
called Gardar. England and Scotland are an ifland, and 
yet each is a kingdom for itfelf. Ireland is a great ifland. 
Iceland is alfo a great ifland north of Ireland. Thefe coun- 
tries are all in that part of the world which is called 

Eur P e - Gripla 

78 This is a fragment from Vellum end of the fourteenth century. Vide 
Codex, No. 192, fuppofed by Profeflbr Antiq. Amer., p. 279. 
Rafn to have been written near the TO Vide antea, note 74. 

Icelandic Sagas. 71 

Codex, No. 115, 8z>0, Antiq. Amer., p. 293. 

BAVARIA is bounded by Saxony ; Saxony is bounded by 
Holftein, then comes Denmark ; the fea flows through the 
eaftern countries. Sweden lies to the eaft of Denmark, 
Norway to the north; Finmark north of Norway; thence 
ftretches the land out to the north-eaft and eaft, until you 
come to Bjarmeland; this land is tributary to Gardarige. 
From Bjarmeland lie uninhabited places all northward to 
that land which is called Greenland [which, however, the 
Greenlanders do not confirm, but believe to have obferved 
that it is otherwife, both from drift timber, which it is known 
is cut down by men, and alfo from reindeer, which have 
marks upon the ears, or bands upon the horns, likewife 
from fheep which ftray thither, of which there now are 
remains in Norway, for one head hangs in Throndhjem, 
another in Bergen, and many more befides are to be found]. 81 
But there are bays, and the land ftretches out toward the 
fouth-weft ; there are jokels and fjords ; there lie iflands out 
before the jokels; one of the jokels cannot be explored; 
to the other is half a month's fail, to the third a week's fail ; 
this is neareft to the fettlement called Hvidferk ; thence 
ftretches the land toward the north ; but he who wifhes not 


80 This remarkable geographical being of a mifcellaneous character. 

fragment is contained in the cele- Antiq. Amer., pp. 280, 281. Bea- 

brated Greenlandic collection of Bjorn mijh. 

Johnfon, and was evidently written be- 81 This paflage is confidered by Pro- 
fore the time of Columbus. The name feffor Rafn to be an interpolation. 
is fuppofed to be derived from the Antiq. Amer., p. 294, note a. 
word gripa, to fnatch, the collection 

72 Icelandic Sagas. 

to mifs the fettlement fleers to the fouth-weft. The Bifhop's 
feat at the bottom of Eriksfjord is called Gardar; there is 
a church dedicated to the holy Nicholas ; twelve churches 
are upon Greenland in the eaflern fettlement, four in the 

Now is to be told what lies oppoflte Greenland, out from 
the bay, which was before named : a land called Furdu- 
flrandir ; there are fo flrong frofts that it is not habitable, 
fo far as one knows ; fouth from thence is Helluland, which 
is called Skraelingfland ; from thence it is not far to Vinland 
the Good, which fome think goes out from Africa ; between 
Vinland and Greenland is Ginnungagap, which flows from 
the fea called Mare Oceanum, and furrounds the whole earth. 
Hcec verbotenus Gripla. 


According to the Second Vellum Codex, No. 6r, Fol. 

Suppqfed to have been copied at the end of the fourteenth or beginning of the 
fifteenth Century. Antiq. Amer., p. 202. 

THUS fays the holy priefl Bede, in the chronicles which 
he wrote concerning the regions of the earth: that the 


MINOR NARRATIVES. Thefe brief in Iceland anterior to its occupation by 
relations are extracts and narratives the Norwegians, and of voyages to a 
from Icelandic manufcripts now depof- part of America which is fpoken of as 
ited in the libraries of Copenhagen. Great Ireland. The defcription of the 
They contain traces of Irifh fettlements coaft vifited is so flight and hazy, that 


Icelandic Sagas. 73 

ifland which is called Thule in the books lies fo far in the 
north part of the world, that there came no day in the 
winter, when the night is longer!, and no night in fummer, 
when the day is longefl. Therefore think learned men that 
it is Iceland which is called Thule, 82 for there are many 
places in that land where the fun fets not at night, when 
the day is longeft, and in the fame manner where the fun 
cannot be feen by day, when the night is longefl. But the 
holy priefl Bede died 735 years after the birth of our Lord 
Jefus Chrift, more than a hundred and twenty years before 
Iceland was inhabited by the Northmen. But, before Ice- 
land was colonized from Norway, men had been there 
whom the Northmen called Papas. 83 They were Chriftians ; 
for after them were found Irim books, bells, and croziers, and 
many other things, from whence it could be feen that they 


it cannot be identified with any degree merating the warriors at the battle of 

of certainty. They ftrengthen the evi- Braavalle, he fpeaks of thofe from 

dence that Icelandic voyages to our Thyle, which name is ftill to be found 

coafts were made at that early period ; in that diflri6l. Again, the particulars 

but beyond this fact add very little to given of Thule by the Irim monk, 

what we have already learned from Dicuil, who wrote in the year 825, 

the fagas in the preceding pages, or identify it with Iceland; and it feems 

that can be of any hiftorical value or probable that different parts of the 

importance. North received the name, which, in the 

82 The locality of Thule is ftill a Icelandic language, fignifies end, 

vexata quceftio with antiquaries, the extreme boundary (tili) according as 

fouth coaft of Norway and north and difcovery was extended. BeamT/h. 
north-weft coaft of Scotland having 83 Papa. The clerical order were 

been each affigned for its pofition, as called Papas by fome Latin writers 

well as Iceland. Bede fpeaks of Thule (see Du Frefnefs Glojfary ad fcript. 

according to the relation of Pytheas medics et infimce Latinitatis), and thus 

of Marfeilles, Solinus, and Pliny, but the Northmen may have adopted the 

makes it only fix days' fail from Brit- word from fouthern nations, "timidus 

ain, which ill accords with the then praeguftes pocula Papas" (Juv. Sat. 

ftate of navigation and nautical knowl- iv.). Du Frefnes mows alfo that the 

edge. Saxo would feem to refer Thule term was applied to Paedagogus. 

to the diftrict of Tellemark on the Idem. 
fouth coaft of Norway ; for, in enu- 


Icelandic Sagas. 

were Chriftian men, and had come from the weft over the 
fea. 84 Englifh books 85 alfo fhow that, in that time, there 
was intercourfe between the two countries. 

From the Schedce of Art Frode, No. 54, Fol. 

AT that time was Iceland covered with woods, between 
the mountains and the fhore. Then were here Chriftian 


84 Til veftan urn haf. Ireland lying 
to the weft of Norway, from whence 
the Icelanders had emigrated, was 
generally fpoken of by them with refer- 
ence to their fatherland, and for the 
fame reafon they called the Irifh "weft- 
men." According to a learned en- 
quirer into the origin of the Irifh, the 
literal meaning of the word " Ireland " 
is Weftland, the Celtic fyllable tar, or 
er, meaning the weft. This, however, 
is difputed by O'Brien, who maintains 
that the original interpretation of iar 
is "after," or "behind," and confiders 
Eirin to be compounded of * and erin, 
the genitive of ere, iron, fignifying 
the ifland of iron or mines, for which 
Ireland had formerly been famed, and 
hence ranked by ancient writers among 
the Caffiterides. See Wood's In- 
quiry concerning the Primitive In- 
habitants of Ireland, p. i ; O'Brien's 
Irijh Dift. in voce Eirin. Beami/h. 

85 The ftrongeft teftimony on this 
point is given by Dicuil, in a work 
entitled " De Menfura Orbis Terras," 
wherein he mows that Iceland had 
been vifited by Irifh ecclefiaftics in 795, 
and the Faroe Iflands in 725. See 
Antiq. Amer., p. 204, note a. 

The particulars given of Thule by 
the Irifh monk, Dicuil, who wrote in 
the year 825, offer a remarkable con- 
firmation of the Icelandic manufcripts 
refpe&ing the refidence of the Irifh 

ecclefiaftics in that region, which, in 
his work, is evidently identified with 
Iceland. He fpeaks of Thule as an 
uninhabited ifland, which, however, in 
his lifetime, about the year 795, had 
been vifited by fame monks, with 
whom he himfelf had fpoken, and who 
had once dwelt upon the ifland from 
the firft of February to the firft of 
Auguft. They denied the exaggerated 
ftatements that had been made by an- 
cient writers reflecting the perpetual 
ice, continued day from the vernal to 
the autumnal equinox, and correfpond- 
ing interval of night, but ftated that a 
day's journey further northward the 
fea was really frozen, and that with 
refpefk to the length of the days and 
nights at, and a few days before and 
after, the fummer folftice, the fun fank 
fo little below the horizon during the 
night, that one could purfue their ordi- 
nary occupations as well as by day- 
light. The author further describes 
feveral iflands lying in the north part 
of the Britifh ocean, which, with a 
fair wind, might be reached from the 
north of Britain in two days and a 
night ; and ftates that here, nearly a 
hundred years before, namely A.D. 725, 
hermits from Ireland had taken up their 
abode, but, difturbed by the roving 
Northmen, had fince departed, leaving 
the place uninhabited. Thefe iflands 
are further defcribed as having upon 


Icelandic Sagas. 75 

people, whom the Northmen called Papas ; but they went 
afterwards away, becaufe they would not be here amongft 
heathens, and left after them Irifh books, and bells, and 
croziers, from which could be feen that they were Irifh- 
men. But then began people to travel much here out from 
Norway, until King Harold forbade it, becaufe it appeared 
to him that the land had begun to be thinned of inhabitants. 

From the Prologue to the Landndmabdk, No. 53, Fol. 

BUT before Iceland was colonized by the Northmen, the 
men were there whom the Northmen called Papas : they 
were Chriftians, and people think that they came from the 
weft over the fea, for there were found after them Irifh 
books, and bells, and croziers, and many more things, from 
which it could be feen that they were Weftmen ; fuch were 
found eaftwards in Papey and Papyli : it is alfo mentioned 
in Engliih books that, in that time, was intercourfe between 
the countries. 

A. D. 982. 

From the Landndmabdk, No. 107, Fol., collated with accounts of the fame 
tranfaftions in Haukfbdk, No. 105, Fol., Melabdk, No. 106 and 112, 
Fol., and other MSS. in the Arnce-Magnaan collection. 

ULF the Squinter, fon of Hogna the White, took all Reyk- 
janes, between Thorkafjord and Hafrafell; he married 


them a great number of fheep, which name of which is known to be derived 
circumftance leads to the conclufion from the original Icelandic term, Farey- 
that they were the Faroe Iflands, the jar, or sheep iflands. Beami/h. 


Icelandic Sagas. 

Bjorg, daughter to Eyvind the Eaftman, fifter to Helge the 
Lean ; their fon was Atli the Red, who married Thorbjorg, 
fifter to Steindlf the Humble; their fon was Mar of Hdlum, 
who married Thorkatla, daughter of Hergil Neprafs ; their 
fon was Ari ; 86 he was driven by a tempeft to White Man's 
Land, which fome call GREAT IRELAND ; it lies to the weft 
in the fea, near to Vinland the Good, and fix days' failing 
weft from Ireland. 87 From thence could Ari not get away, 
and was there baptized. This ftory firft told Rafn the 
Limerick merchant, 88 who had long lived at Limerick in 


86 Ari Marfon is mentioned in the 
Kriftni Saga, c. I, p. 6, amongft the 
principal chiefs in Iceland in the year 
981, at which time Bifhop Fridrick 
and Thorvald Kodranfon came there 
to promulgate Chriftianity. He and 
his kinfmenare highly lauded in feveral 
Icelandic hiftorical works {Sogujxzd- 
tir IJlandiga, Holum, 1756, 4, p. 105 ; 
Fdftbrczdra Saga, c. I, p. 6). His 
father, Mar, and mother, Katla, figure 
in an ancient poem, which is flill pre- 
ferved among the common traditions of 
the Icelanders, under the name of Kot- 
ludraumr, or Katla's dream, and may be 
feen in the Arnae-Magnaean collection, 
No. 154, 8vo. Antiq, Amer., p. 210, 
note a. Beamijh. 

87 "VI. daegra figling veftr frd Ir- 
landi." Profeffor Rafn is of opinion 
that the figures VI. have arifen through 
miftake or careleflhefs of the tranfcriber 
of the original manufcript which is now 
loft, and were erroneoufly inferted in- 
ftead of XX., XL, or perhaps XV., 
which would better correspond with the 
distance : this miftake might have eafily 
arifen from a blot or defect in that part 
of the original MSS. Antiq. Amer., 
p. 447. Idem. 

It might alfo have arifen through 

the careleffnefs of fome fagaman while 
it remained in oral tradition. See 
antea, p. 60, note 64. 

89 Hlymreksfari, a furname evidently 
given here to Rafn, in confequence of 
his trading to Limerick, with which, as 
well as the other principal Irifh fea- 
ports, the Northmen, called by the Irifh 
Danes, were accuftomed to hold fre- 
quent communication from the end of 
the eighth century. Dublin, Water- 
ford, and Limerick are called in the 
Icelandic, or old northern tongue, Dy- 
flin, Vaedrafjordr, and Hlimrek, which 
has probably led Cambrenfis and others 
to attribute the foundation of thefe cit- 
ies to the Northmen, Amelanus, Sitara- 
cus, and Ivarus, or Anlaf, Sitric, and 
Ivar, in the year 864, when they made 
a hoftile expedition to the country, and 
fettled in thefe three towns refpe<5lively; 
but O'Halloran fhows that Dublin, 
Waterford, and Limerick were cities 
of note long before that period, and 
that the trade of Dublin, in particular, 
was fo great at the clofe of the fecond 
century that a bloody war broke out 
between the monarch Con and the 
King of Munfter, to determine to whom 
the duties upon exports and imports 
mould belong. Hi/I. Ireland, Vol. 1 1 1 . 

p. 178. 

Icelandic Sagas. 


Ireland. 89 Thus faid [alfo] Thorkell Gellerfon, 90 that Ice- 

p. 178. Moore, however, gives Sitric 
the credit of founding Waterford [II. 
p. 37], although its original Irifh name 
of Port Lairge would ieem to imply a 
place of fome commercial importance 
before the adoption of its northern 
title, from which the name of Water- 
ford is evidently derived [Vaedrafjord, 
the fordable frith]. Limerick, O'Hal- 
loran tells us, was fo noted for its com- 
merce from the earlieft times, that it is 
never mentioned by ancient Irifh writ- 
ers without the epithet Long, a mip; 
and we find Ceallachan Caifil, king 
of Munfter, calling it Luimneach na 
Luingas, or Limerick of the mips. 
Hijt. Ireland, I. p. 159, and III. p. 178. 
According to Archbifhop Ufher, the 
firft invafion of the Danes, or North- 
men, took place about the year 797, 
when the Annals of Ulfter notice a 
defcent on the ifle of Rechrin, or Ragh- 
lin, north of the county Antrim ; and 
their incurfions continued, with little 
intermiflion, until their final defeat by 
Brien Boirumhe, or Boru, in the cele- 
brated battle of Clontarff, April 23, 
1014. The intervals of peace were 
naturally applied to commercial inter- 
courfe between the two nations ; and 
the Northmen became eftablifhed not 
only at the principal fea-ports, but in 
the interior of the country. Hence 
we find Irifh names of perfons in Ice- 
land, and names of places formed of 
Northern elements in Ireland : the 
Icelandic Niel or Njall is evidently 
the Irifh Neil ; Kjallach, Ceallach ; 
Kjaran, Kieran ; Bjarni, Barny, &c. 
Names of places are of a mixed origin : 
to the Irifh Laighean, Munhain, Ul- 
ladh, the Northmen added their fladr 
(place), which afterwards becamey&r, 
and thus arose Leinfter, Munfter, Ul- 
fter, &c. (See De ^Eldjle, toge fro. 
Norden til Irland of N. M. Peterfen, 

ap. Annaler for Nordijk Oldkyndighed, 
1836, pp. 2, 3.) The general name of 
Danes could hardly have arifen from 
the invaders being confidered Danifh, 
as they were a mixed race of Danes, 
Norwegians, Swedes, Saxons, Frifians, 
and other Gothic tribes from the Cim- 
bric peninfula and mores of the Baltic, 
and were diftinguifhed by the Irifh 
according to the color of their hair or 
complexion, as Fionne Gail, the white 
ftrangers, and Dubh Gail, the black 
ftrangers (hence, probably, Fingal and 
Donegal). The term Dane, which was 
fometimes applied, is, therefore, more 
likely to have been expreffive of the 
character than the country of the in- 
vaders, and to be derived from the 
Irifh words Dana, bold, impetuous, 
and Fear, man : hence Dan-oit, the 
impetuous river, as the Danube is 
called in ancient Celtic. See O^Hal- 
loran, Vol. III. p. 149, and O'Brien's 
IriJJi Difl. in voce Dana. BeamiJJi. 

89 The pedigree of Rafn, the Limer- 
ick merchant, or Oddfon, is given in 
the Landndmabdk, II. 21, p. 98, from 
which it appears that he was defcended 
from Duke Rolf of Norway, and on the 
maternal fide from Stein<5f the Humble, 
being thus connected as well with Ari 
Marfon as Leif Erikfon, and lived about 
the middle or beginning of the eleventh 
century. In the Sturlunga Saga, I. 
c. 3, he is named amongft the anceftors 
of Skard-Snorri, from whom the mofl 
diftinguifhed Icelanders trace their de- 
fcent, and it is probable was the fame 
individual known fometimes by the 
name of Rafn the Red [Rafn hinn 
raudi\ who accompanied Sigurd, king 
of the Orkneys, to Ireland in 1014, and 
was prefent at the battle of Clontarff, 
April 23, of the fame year. Antiq. 
Awer., p. 211, note a. Idem. 

90 Thorkell Gellerfon was great 


78 Icelandic Sagas. 

landers had ftated, who had heard Thorfinn Jarl of the 
Orkneys relate that Ari was recognized in White Man's 
Land, and could not get away from thence, but was there 
much reflected. Ari married Thorgerd, daughter to Alf 
of Dolum, whofe fons were Thorgils, Gudleif, and Illugi : 
this is the family of Reykjanefs. A fon of Ulf the Squin- 
ter was called Jorund; he married Thorbjorg Knarrar- 
bringa ; their daughter was Thjodhild, who married Erik 
the Red ; their fon [was] Leif the Lucky of Greenland. 
The fon of Atli the Red was called Jorund ; he married 
Thordis, daughter of Thorgeir Suda; their daughter was 
Otkatla, who married Thorgill Kollfon. Jorund was alfo 
father to Snorri. 

From the Manufcript Codex, 770, Antiq. Amer., p. 214. 

Now are there, as is faid, fouth from Greenland, which 
is inhabited, deferts, uninhabited places, and icebergs, then 
the Skraelings, then Markland, then Vinland the Good; 
next, and fomewhat behind, lies Albania, which is White 
Man's Land ; thither was failing, formerly, from Ireland ; 
there Irimmen and Icelanders recognized Ari the fon of 
Mar and Katla of Reykjanefs, of whom nothing had been 


grandfon of Ari Marfon, and uncle things to his kinfman, Ari Frode, who 

to Ari Frode, the writer of this narra- appears to have had the fulleft confi- 

tive. He refided at Helgafell in Ice- dence in his ftatements, and often gives 

land, and was well known as a wealthy, his exprefs words, together with his 

honorable, and brave yeoman, who, name, as a fecurity for the truth of the 

defirous of knowledge, had travelled narrative. Antiq. Amer., p. 212, note 

much in his youth. He related many a. BeamiJJi. 

Icelandic Sagas. 79 

heard for a long time, and who had been made a chief 
there by the inhabitants. 

A. D. 999. 

BORK the Fat, and Thordis, Sur's daughter, had a daughter 
that was called Thurid, and me was married to Thorbjorn 
the Fat, who lived at Froda ; he was fon of Orm the 
Lean, who had taken and cultivated the farm of Froda. 
Thurid, daughter of Af brand of Kamb in Breidavik, had he 
formerly married ; (he was fifter to Bjorn Breidvikingakappa, 
who is hereafter mentioned in the Saga, and to Arnbjorn 
the Strong ; her fons by Thorbjorn were Ketill the Cham- 
pion, Gunnlaug, and Hallftein. . . . 

Now mall fomething be told about Snorri Godi, 92 that he 
took up the procefs about the murder of Thorbjorn his 


91 This remarkable narrative is taken real name was Thorgrim Thorgrimfon ; 
from the Eyrbyggja Saga, or early an- but, being rather unmanageable when 
nals of that diftric~l of Iceland lying a child, he obtained the cognomen of 
around the promontory of Snasfells on Snerrir, from the Icelandic word, fner- 
the weftern coaft. It is clearly mown rinn, pugnacious, which afterwards be- 
by Bifhop Miiller to have been writ- came Snorri. Miiller, Sag. Bib., V. i. 
ten not later than the beginning of the He was born in 964, and died in 1031 ; 
thirteenth century. Beamijh. Vide and hence it follows that the events 
Bifhop Miiller's account of this Saga, recorded in this and the following nar- 
in extenfo, in Beamiflfs Northmen, pp. rative, where he is mentioned as an 
200-202. active participator, mult have occurred 

92 Godi, prieft of the temple and pre- previous to the year 1030. Various 
fe6l of the province, from GWthe Deity, orthography has been followed by Eng- 
being fuppofed to hold the office by lifh writers with regard to the name, 
divine appointment. Snorri Godi occu- fome calling it Snorro and others 
pies a confpicuous place in Icelandic Snorre, but the final i feems to accord 
hiftory from the end of the tenth to the more with the Icelandic root. Idem. 
beginning of the eleventh century. His 

8o Icelandic Sagas. 

brother-in-law. He alfo took his fifler home to Helgafell, 
becaufe there was a report that Bjorn, fon of Af brand from 
Kamb, began to come there to inveigle her. . . . 

There was a man from Medallfellftrand called Thorodd ; 
an honorable man ; he was a great merchant, and owned a 
trading fliip. Thorodd had made a trading voyage weft- 
wards to Ireland, 93 to Dublin. At that time had Jarl Sigurd 
Lodverffon, of the Orkneys, 94 fway to the Hebrides, and all 
the way weftward to Man : he impofed a tribute on the 
inhabitants of Man, and, when they had made peace, the 
Jarl left men behind him to coll eel: the tribute ; it was 
moftly paid in fmelted filver; but the Jarl failed away 
northwards to the Orkneys. But when they who had 
waited for the tribute were ready for failing, they put to 
fea with a fouth-weft wind ; but when they had failed for a 
time the wind changed to the fouth-eaft and eaft, and there 
arofe a great ftorm, and drove them northwards under 
Ireland, and the fhip broke there afunder upon an uninhab- 
ited ifland. And when they had gotten there, came, by 
chance, the Icelander Thorodd, on a voyage from Dublin. 
The Jarl's men called out to the merchantmen to help 
them. Thorodd put out a boat, and went into it himfelf, 
and, when it came up, the Jarl's men begged Thorodd to 


93 Kaupferd veftr til Irlands. Here their northern tafk-mafter. See Peter- 
we fee the nature of the voyage dif- fen in Annal. for Nord. Oldk. 2836. 
tinc"lly dated, and Ireland fpoken of as Comp. note 84. Beami/h. 
lying -we/awards from Iceland, which 94 The Orkneys are called in north- 
evidently arofe from its pofition with ern language Orkneyjar, from Orka, 
regard to Norway, the fatherland of a kind of feal, which is defcribed in 
the fettlers ; hence, alfo, Veftmannaey- "Speculum Regale," pp. 176, 177. 
jar (Weftman's Iflands), on the fouth Sigurd fell in battle in Ireland, 1013. 
coaft of Iceland, where fome Irifh cap- Antiq. Amer., p. 218, note b. Idem. 
tives took refuge after the murder of 

Icelandic Sagas. 81 

help them, and offered him money to take them home 
to Sigurd Jarl in the Orkneys ; but Thorodd thought he 
could not do that, becaufe he was bound for Iceland ; but 
they preffed him hard, for they thought it concerned their 
goods and freedom, that they mould not be left in Ireland 
or the Hebrides, where they before had waged war, and it 
ended fo that he fold them the fhip's boat, and took there- 
fore a great part of the tribute ; they fleered then with the 
boat to the Orkneys ; but Thorodd failed without the boat 
to Iceland, and came to the fouth of the land ; then fleered 
he weftwards, and failed into Breidafjord, and landed, with 
all on board, at Dogurdarnefs, and went in autumn to win- 
ter with Snorri Godi at Helgafell ; he was fince then called 
Thorodd the Tribute-buyer. This happened a little after 
the murder of Thorbjorn the Fat. The fame winter was at 
Helgafell Thurid the filler of Snorri Godi, whom Thorbjorn 
the Fat had married. Thorodd afked Snorri Godi to give 
him Thurid his filler in marriage ; and becaufe he was rich, 
and Snorri knew him from a good fide, and faw that me 
required fome one to manage her affairs, with all this 
together refolved Snorri Godi to give him the woman, and 
their marriage was held there in the winter at Helgafell. But 
in the following fpring Thorodd betook himfelf to Froda, 
and became a good and upright yeoman. But fo foon as 
Thurid came to Froda, began Bjorn Albrandfon to vifit 
there, and there was fpread a general report that he and 
Thurid had unlawful intercourfe ; then began Thorodd to 
complain about his vifits, but did not obje6l to them feri- 
oufly. At that time dwelled Thorer Vidlegg at Arnarhvol, 
and his fons, Orn and Val, were grown up, and very prom- 


82 Icelandic Sagas. 

ifmg men ; they reproached Thorodd for fubmitting to fuch 
difgrace as Bjorn put upon him, and offered Thorodd their 
affiftance, if he would forbid the vifits of Bjorn. It hap- 
pened one time that Bjorn came to Froda, and he fat 
talking with Thurid. Thorodd ufed always to fit within 
when Bjorn was there, but now was he nowhere to be feen. 
Then faid Thurid: "Take care of thy walks, Bjorn, for I 
fufpecl: that Thorodd thinks to put an end to thy vifits here ; 
and it looks to me as if they had gone out to fall upon thee 
by the way, and he thinks they will not be met by equal 
force." " That can well be," faid Bjorn, and chaunted this 

ftave : 

O Goddefs of the arm-ring gold, 
Let this bright day the longeft hold 
On earth ; for now I linger here 
In my love's arms, but foon muft fear 
Thefe joys will vanifh, and her breath 
Be raifed to mourn my early death. 

Thereafter took Bjorn his arms, and went away, intending 
to go home ; but when he had gotten up the Digramula, 
fprang five men upon him ; this was Thorodd and two of 
his fervants, and the fons of Thorer Vidlegg. They feized 
Bjorn, but he defended himfelf well and manfully ; Thorer's 
fons preffed in hardeft upon him, and wounded him, but he 
was the death of both of them. After that Thorodd went 
away with his men, and was a little wounded, but they not. 
Bjorn went his way until he came home, and went into the 
room ; the woman of the houfe 95 told a maid fervant to attend 

him ; 

95 Husfreyja ; Dan., Hausfru ; Siued., ing, in this cafe, Bjorn's mother. 
Husfru ; Ger., Hausfrau : literally, the Beamijh. 
woman or lady of the houfe, and mean- 

Icelandic Sagas. 83 

him ; and when (he came into the room with a light, then faw 
fhe that Bjorn was very bloody ; me went then in, and told 
his father Afbrand that Bjorn was come home bloody; Af- 
brand went into the room, and afked why Bjorn was bloody; 
" or have you, perhaps, fallen in with Thorodd ? " Bjorn 
anfwered that fo it was. Afbrand then afked how the 
bufmefs had ended. Bjorn chaunted: 

Eafier far it is to fondle, 
In the arms of female fair 
(Vidlegg's fons I both have (lain), 
Than with valiant men to wreftle, 
Or tamely purchafed tribute 96 bear. 

Then bound Afbrand his wounds, and he became quite 
reftored. Thorodd begged Snorri Godi to manage the 
matter about Thorer's fons' murder, and Snorri had it 
brought before the court of Thorfnefs; but the fons of 
Thorlak of Eyra affifled Breidvikinga in this affair, and the 
uplhot was that Afbrand went fecurity for his fon Bjorn, 
and undertook to pay a fine for the murder. But Bjorn 
was banifhed for three years, and went away the fame 
fummer. During the fame fummer Thurid of Froda was 
delivered of a male child, which received the name of 
Kjartan; he grew up at Froda, and was foon large and 

Now when Bjorn had croffed the fea [to Norway], he 
bent his way fouthwards to Denmark, and therefrom fouth 


96 In allufion to Thorodd's tranfac- the furname of " Tribute-buyer." 
tion with the crew of Sigurd. See Beamijfi. 
antea, p. 81, from which he obtained 

Icelandic Sagas. 

to Jomfborg. 97 Then was Palnatoki chief of the Jomfvikings. 
Bjorn joined their band, and was named Champion. 98 He 
was in Jomfborg when Styrbjorn the Strong took the caftle. 
Bjorn was alfo with them in Sweden, when the Jomfvikings 
aided Styrbjorn; he was alfo in the battle of Fyrifvall, 
where Styrbjorn fell, and efcaped in the wood with other 
Jomfvikings. And fo long as Palnatoki lived," was Bjorn 
with him, and was looked upon as a diftinguifhed man, and 
very brave in all times of trial. 

. . . The fame fummer 100 came the brothers Bjorn and 
Arnbjorn out to Iceland to Raunhafnarfos. Bjorn was 
afterwards called the Champion of Breidavik. Arnbjorn 
had brought much money out with him, and immediately, 


97 Jomfborg (or Jem's caftle), called 
alfo Julin, was built by the Danifh 
King Harold Blaatand, on one of the 
mouths of the Oder, on the coaft of 
Pomerania. It was afterwards gov- 
erned by Palnatoki, a powerful chief 
of Fionia (Fynen), to whom Buriflaus, 
king of the Wends, fearing his power, 
gave the neighboring territory, on con- 
dition that he would defend the mon- 
arch's kingdom from foreign aggref- 
fion. Palnatoki accepted the condi- 
tions, and became chief of a community 
of pirates called Jomfvikingr, who were 
diftinguimed, even in thofe days of 
brutal valor, for extraordinary perfonal 
bravery and contempt of death. He 
eftablimed the ftricteft laws, and ex- 
acted the moft rigid tefts from thofe 
who fought to enter the fociety : the 
rank of Kappi, or champion, given to 
Bjorn Afbrandfon, was, therefore, the 
ftrongeft evidence of his eminent quali- 
ties as a warrior. Antiq. Amer., p. 
227, note a. Jomfvikinga Saga ; and 
for the particular locality of Jomfborg, 

which is fuppofed to be the prefent 
Wollin, fee De Danjkes Toge, til Ven- 
den of N. M. Peterfen, ap. Annalerfor 
Nordijk Oldkyndighed, Kjobenhavn, 
J 837, pp. 235-238. Beaml/h. 

98 Styrbjorn was the fon of Olaf, who 
reigned in Sweden jointly with Erik 
the Victorious, but, in confequence of 
afpiring to the throne and the murder 
of a courtier named Aki, fell into dif- 
grace, and retired, with fixty mips given 
him by Erik, to Jomfborg, of which 
he became governor. Afterwards he 
made an expedition to Sweden, in con- 
junction with Harald Gormfon, and fell 
in battle againft the king, his uncle, in 
the plain of Fyrifvold near Upfala, A.D. 
984. See Antiq. Amer., p. 227, note, 

Fornmanna Sb'gur, Vol. V., faffr 
Styrbjarnar Svia kappa in Cod. Flat.j 
and Jomfuikinga Saga, Miiller, Vol. 3. 


99 Palnatoki died A.D. 993. Idem. 
100 About the year 996. Antiq. 

Amer., p. 228, note a. 

Icelandic Sagas. 85 

the fame fummer that he came, bought land at Bakke in 
Raunhofn. Arnbjorn made no difplay, and fpoke little on 
mofl occafions, but was however, in all refpecls, a very able 
man. Bjorn, his brother, was, on the other hand, very 
pompous, when he came to the country, and lived in great 
flyle, for he had accuftomed himfelf to the court ufages of 
foreign chiefs ; he was much handfomer than Arnbjorn, and 
in no particular lefs able, but was much more (killed in 
martial exercifes, of which he had given proofs in foreign 
lands. In the fummer, jufl after they had arrived, a great 
meeting of the people was held north of the heath, under 
Haugabret, near the mouth of the Froda ; and thither rode 
all the merchants, in colored garments ; 101 and when they 
had come to the meeting, was there many people affembled. 
There was Thurid, the lady of Froda, and Bjorn went up, 
and fpoke to her, and no one objected to this, for it was 
thought likely that their difcourfe would laft long, fince 
they, for fuch a length of time, had not feen each other. 
There arofe that day a fight, and one of the men from the 
northern mountains received a deadly wound, and was 
carried down under a bum on the bank of the river : much 


101 " A fimilar fancy for party-colored Irifh monarch Achy, a law was enabled 

drefles," fays Moore, " exifled among regulating the number of colors by 

the Celts of Gaul, and Diodorus de- which the garments of the different 

fcribes the people as wearing garments clafles of fociety were to be diflin- 

flowered with all varieties of colors, guifhed, and from thefe party-colored 

Xpoytao-i iravToSdirois 8iijvdia-p.fvovs, Lib. dreffes, worn by the ancient Scots or 

5. The braccae, or breeches, was fo Irifh, is derived the prefent national 

called from being plaided, the word coftume [ftill called brekan\ of their 

brae fignifying in Celtic any thing descendants in North Britain. Hift. 

fpeckled or party-colored." Accord- Ir., I. pp. 109, no; O'Brien, Irijft 

ing to O'Brien, the Hiberno-Celtic Did. in voce breac, Lluyd. Arch. Brit, 

word is breac. In the reign of the Beamijh. 

86 Icelandic Sagas. 

blood flowed from the wound, fo that there was a pool of 
blood in the bufh. There was the boy Kjartan, fon of 
Thurid of Froda ; he had a fmall axe in his hand ; he ran 
to the bufh, and dipped the axe in the blood. When the 
men from the fouthern mountains rode fouthwards from the 
meeting, Thord Blig afked Bjorn how the difcourfe had 
turned out betwixt him and Thurid of Froda. Bjorn faid 
that he was well contented therewith. Then afked Thord, 
whether he had that day feen the lad Kjartan, her and 
Thorodd's united fon. " Him faw I," faid Bjorn. " What 
do you think of him ? " quoth Thord, again. Then chaunted 
Bjorn this Have : 

A ftripling, lo ! 
With fearful eyes 
And woman's image, 
Downwards ran 
To the wolf's lair. 
The people fay 
The youth knows not 
His Viking father. 

Thord faid: "What will Thorodd fay when he hears of 
your boy ? " Then fung Bjorn : 

Then will the noble lady, 
When preffing to her breaft 
The image of his father 
In her fair arms to reft, 
Admit Thorodd's conjecture ; 
For me me ever loved, 
And ever (hall I bear her 
Affection deep and proved. 


Icelandic Sagas. 87 

Thord faid : " It will be better for ye not to have much to 
do with each other, and that thou turn thy thoughts from 
Thurid." " That is furely a good counfel," replied Bjorn, 
" but far is that from my intention, although it makes fome 
difference when I have to do with fuch a man as Snorri her 
brother." " Thou wilt be forry for thy doings," faid Thord J 
and therewith ended the talk between them. Bjorn went 
home now to Kamb, and took upon himfelf the manage- 
ment of the place, for his father was then dead. In the 
winter he began his trips over the heath, to vifit Thurid ; 
and although Thorodd did not like it, he yet faw that it was 
not eafy to find a remedy, and he thought over with him- 
felf how dearly it had cofl him, when he fought to flop 
their intercourfe; but he faw that Bjorn was now much 
ftronger than before. Thorodd bribed, in the winter, Thor- 
grim Galdrakin to raife a tempeft againft Bjorn, when he 
was croffing the heath. Now it came to pafs one day, that 
Bjorn came to Froda, and in the evening, when he was 
going home, was there thick weather and fome rain ; and 
he fet off very late ; but when he had gotten up on the 
heath, the weather became cold, and it mowed ; and fo dark 
that he faw not the way before him. After that arofe a 
drift of mow, with fo much fleet that he could fcarcely keep 
his legs ; his clothes were now frozen, for he was before wet 
through, and he ftrayed about, fo that he knew not where 
to turn ; hit, at night, upon the edge of a cave, went in, 
and was there for the night, and had a cold lodging ; then 
fung Bjorn: 


88 Icelandic Sagas. 

Fair one ! who doft bring 
Veftments to the weary, 102 
Little know'ft thou where, 
Hid in cavern dreary, 
I now fhelter feek : 
He that once on ocean 
Boldly fleered a bark, 
Now lies without motion 
In a cavern dark. 

And again he chaunted : 

The fwan's cold region I have crofled 
All eaftwards with a goodly freight, 
For woman's love, by tempeft toft 
And feeking danger in the fight ; 
But now no woman's couch I tread, 
A rocky cavern is my bed. 

Bjorn remained three days in the cave, before the weather 
moderated ; but on the fourth day came he home from the 
heath to Kamb. He was much exhaufted. The fervants 
afked him where he had been during the tempeft. Bjorn 

Well my deeds are known 
Under Styrbjorn's banner, 
Steel-clad Erik flew 
Gallant men in battle ; 
Now on mountain wild, 
Met by magic fhower, 


12 To the women of the Northern ments to the traveller who had fuf- 

family was more particularly entrufted fered from the tempeftuoufnefs of the 

the duties of hofpitality, among which weather. Antiq. Amer., p. 236, note 

was included that of bringing dry gar- a. Beami/h. 

Icelandic Sagas. 89 

Outlet could not find 
From the Witches' power. 


Bjorn was now at home for the winter. In fpring his 
brother Arnbjorn fixed his refidence at Bakke in Raunhofn, 
but Bjorn lived at Kamb, and kept a fplendid houfe. . . . 

The fame fummer bade Thorodd the Tribute-buyer his 
brother-in-law Snorri Godi to a feaft at home at Froda, and 
Snorri betook himfelf thither with twenty men. And while 
Snorri was at the feafl, difclosed Thorodd to him how he 
felt himfelf both difgraced and injured by the vifits which 
Bjorn Afbrandfon made to Thurid his wife, but fifter to 
Snorri Godi : Thorodd faid that Snorri mould remedy this 
bad bufmefs. Snorri was there a few days, and Thorodd 
gave him coftly prefents when he went away. Snorri Godi 
rode from thence over the heath, and gave out that he was 
going to the fhip in the Bay of Raunhofn. This was in 
fummer, at the time of haymaking. But when they came 
fouth on Kamb's heath, then faid Snorri : " Now will we 
ride from the heath down to Kamb, and I will tell you," faid 
he, " that I will vifit Bjorn, and take his life, if opportunity 
offers, but not attack him in the houfe, for the buildings are 


108 Thefe poetical effufions of Bjorn "But trnfteth wel I am a Sotheme man, 

may, perhaps, appear fomewhat im- I cannot gefte rom, m f, by my letter 

proLbi to P Eng!gh readers, but the And God ^ J tf63SS 
Northmen of this period exhibited 

great readinefs in a fpecjes of rude Cette finguliere maniere de f'ex- 

verfification, the melody of which was primer Aoit pou rtant affez commune, 

chiefly formed on alliteration. "As et peut marquer feule combien ces 

late as the time of Chaucer," fays Sir peup i es faifoient de cas de la PoeTie." 

Walter Scott, "it was confidered as _ Mallet, Introd. d. VHtft. de Danne- 

the mark of a Northern man to 'affect marc n 24.7 Beami/h 

the letter.'" And his parfon thus 
apologizes for not reciting a piece of 
poetry : 


go Icelandic Sagas. 

ftrong here, and Bjorn is flrong and hardy, and we have but 
little force ; and it is well known that men who have come, 
even fo, with great force, have, with little fuccefs, attacked 
fuch valiant men, infide in the houfe, as was the cafe with 
Geir Godi, and Giffur the white, when they attacked Gun- 
nar of Lidarend, in his houfe, with eighty men, but he was 
there alone, and neverthelefs were fome wounded, and 
others killed ; and they had flayed the attack, had not Geir 
Godi, with his heedfulnefs, obferved that he was fhort of 
arms. But forafmuch as," continued he, " Bjorn is now 
out, which may be expected, as it is good drying weather, 
fo appoint I thee, my kinfman Mar, to fetch Bjorn the firft 
wound ; but confider well that he is no man to trifle with, 
and that, wherever he is, you may expect a hard blow from 
a favage wolf, if he, at the onfet, receives not fuch a wound 
as will caufe his death." And now when they rode down from 
the moor to the farm, faw they that Bjorn was out in the 
homeftead, working at a fledge, 101 and there was nobody 
with him, and no weapons had he except a little axe, and a 
large knife, of a fpan's length from the haft, which he ufed 
for boring the holes in the fledge. Bjorn faw that Snorri 
Godi with his followers rode down from the moor into the 
field, and knew them immediately. Snorri Godi was in a 
blue cloak, and rode in front. Bjorn made an immediate 
refolve, and took the knife, and went ftraight towards them ; 
when they came together, he feized with the one hand the 
arm of Snorri's cloak, and with the other held he the knife 


104 Small wooden unfliod fledges are to the haggart, in the fummer feafon. 
ufed in Scandinavia for drawing in hay Beamijh. 

Icelandic Sagas. 91 

in fuch a manner as was mofl eafy for him to flab Snorri 
through the breafl, if he mould think fit to do fo. Bjorn 
greeted them, as they met, and Snorri greeted him again ; 
but Mar dropped his hands, for it flruck him that Bjorn 
could foon hurt Snorri, if any injury was done to him. 
Upon this Bjorn went with them on their way, and afked 
what news they had, but held himfelf in the fame pofition 
which he had taken at the firfl. Then took up Bjorn the 
difcourfe in this manner : " It flands truly fo, friend Snorri, 
that I conceal not I have acted towards you in fuch wife 
that you may well accufe me, and I have been told that 
you have a hoftile intention towards me. Now it feems to 
me beft," continued he, " that if you have any bulinefs with 
me, other than paffing by here to the high road, you mould 
let me know it ; but be that not the cafe, then would I that 
you grant me peace, and I will then turn back, for I go not 
in leading firings." Snorri anfwered : " Such a lucky grip 
took thou of me at our meeting, that thou mufl have peace 
this time, however it may have been determined before ; 
but this I beg of thee, that from henceforth thou ceafe to 
inveigle Thurid, for it will not end well between us, if thou, 
in this refpec~l, continue as thou hall begun." Bjorn re- 
plied : " That only will I promife thee which I can perform, 
but I fee not how I can hold to this, fo long as Thurid and 
I are in the fame diflric"l." " Thou art not fo much bound 
to this place," anfwered Snorri, "but that thou couldefl 
eafily give up thy refidence here." Bjorn replied : " True is 
that which thou fayefl, and thus fhall it be ; fince you have 
yourfelf come to me, and as our meeting has thus turned 
out, will I promife thee that Thorodd and thou shalt have 


92 Icelandic Sagas. 

no more trouble about my vifits to Thurid for the next 
3'ear." After this they feparated ; Snorri Godi rode to 
the fhip, and then home to Helgafell. The day following 
rode Bjorn fouthwards to Raunhofn to go to fea, and he got 
immediately, in the fummer, a place in a fhip, and they 
were very foon ready. They put to fea with a north-eaft 
wind, which wind lafled long during the fummer; but of 
this fhip was nothing heard fince this long time. 


A. D. 1029. 
Eyrbyggja Saga, Cap. 64 ; Vellum Fragment, No. 4456, in 4/0. 

THERE was a man called Gudleif ; he was fon of Gudlaug 
the Rich, of Straumfjord, and brother of Thorfinn, from 
whom the Sturlungers are defcended. Gudleif was a great 
merchant, he had a merchant fhip, but Thorolf Eyrar Lopt- 
fon had another, that time they fought againfl Gyrd, fon of 
Sigvald Jarl : then loft Gyrd his eye. It happened in the 
laft years of the reign of King Olaf the Saint that Gudleif 
undertook a trading voyage to Dublin ; 105 but when he 
failed from the weft, intended he to fail to Iceland; he 
failed then from the weft of Ireland, and met with north- 
eaft winds, and was driven far to the weft and fouth-weft, 
in the fea, where no land was to be feen. But it was 
already far gone in the fummer, and they made many 


106 Some of the MSS. add "veflr," lying weftwards from Iceland. Bea- 
fhowing that Ireland was fpoken of as mi/h. 

Icelandic Sagas. 93 

prayers that they might efcape from the fea ; and it came 
to pafs that they faw land. It was a great land, but they 
knew not what land it was. Then took they the refolve to 
fail to the land, for they were weary of contending longer 
with the violence of the fea. They found there a good 
harbor; and when they had been a fhort time on more, 
came people to them : they knew none of the people, but it 
rather appeared to them that they fpoke Irifh. 106 Soon 
came to them fo great a number that it made up many 
hundreds. Thefe men fell upon them and feized them all, 
and bound them, and drove them up the country. There 
were they brought before an affembly, to be judged. They 
underflood fo much that fome were for killing them, but 
others would have them diflributed amongft the inhabitants, 
arid made Haves. And while this was going on, faw they 
where rode a great body of men, and a large banner was 
borne in the midft. Then thought they that there muft be 
a chief in the troop ; but when it came near, faw they that 
under the banner rode a large and dignified man, who was 
much in years, and whofe hair was white. All prefent 
bowed down before the man, and received him as well as 
they could. Now obferved they that all opinions and 
refolutions concerning their bufmefs were fubmitted to his 
decifion. Then ordered this man Gudleif and his com- 
panions to be brought before him, and when they had 


106 "En helzt J>otti heim, fern )>eir the Irifh ports, might be fuppofed to 

maelti irfku." This is a very remark- have had juft fufficient knowledge of 

able paffage, and affords the ftrongeft the language to deteft its founds (here 

grounds for believing that the country probably corrupted), and underftand 

to which they were driven had been the general meaning of the words. 

previously colonized from Ireland. The Beamijh. 
Northmen, from their intercourfe with 

94 Icelandic Sagas. 

come before this man, fpoke he to them in the Northern 
tongue, 107 and afked them from what country they came. 
They anfwered him that the moft of them were Icelanders. 
The man afked which of them were Icelanders ? Gudleif 
faid that he was an Icelander. He then faluted the old 
man, and he received it well, and afked from what part of 
Iceland he came. Gudleif faid that he was from that dif- 
tric~t which was called Borgafjord. Then inquired he from 
what part of Borgafjord he came, and Gudleif anfwered juft 
as it was. Then afked this man about almoft every one of 
the principal men in Borgafjord and Breidafjord; and when 
they talked thereon, inquired he minutely about every 
thing, firft of Snorri Godi, and his lifter Thurid of Froda, 
and moft about Kjartan her fon. The people of the 
country now called out, on the other fide, that fome decifion 
fhould be made about the feamen. After this went the 
great man away from them, and named twelve of his men 
with himfelf, and they fat a long time talking. Then went 
they to the meeting of the people, and the old man faid to 
Gudleif : " I and the people of the country have talked 
together about your bufinefs, and the people have left the 
matter to me ; but I will now give ye leave to depart 
whence ye will ; but although ye may think that the fum- 
mer is almoft gone, yet will I counfel ye to remove from 
hence, for here are the people not to be trufted, and bad to 
deal with, and they think befides that the laws have been 
broken to their injury." Gudleif anfwered : " What mail we 
fay, if fate permits us to return to our own country, who has 
given us this freedom ? " He anfwered : " That can I not tell 


107 Norraenu. See antea, note 30. 

Icelandic Sagas. 95 

you, for I like not that my relations and fofter-brothers 
fhould make fuch a journey hereto, as ye would have made, 
if ye had not had the benefit of my help ; but now is my 
age fo advanced that I may expect every hour old age to 
overpower me ; and even if I could live yet for a time, 
there are here more powerful men than me, who little peace 
would give to foreigners that might come here, although they 
be not juft here in the neighborhood where ye landed." 
Then caufed he their fhip to be made ready for fea, and was 
there with them, until a fair wind fprung up, which was 
favorable to take them from the land. But before they 
feparated took this man a gold ring from his hand, and 
gave it into the hands of Gudleif, and therewith a good 
fword ; then faid he to Gudleif : " If the fates permit you to 
come to your own country, then mail you take this fword 
to the yeoman, Kjartan of Froda, but the ring to Thurid 
his mother." Gudleif replied : " What mall I fay, about it, 
as to who fends them thefe valuables?" He anfwered : 
" Say that he fends them who was a better friend of the 
lady of Froda than of her brother, Godi of Helgafell ; but 
if any man therefore thinks that he knows who has owned 
thefe articles, then fay thefe my words, that I forbid any 
one to come to me, for it is the moft dangerous expedition, 
unlefs it happens as fortunately with others at the landing- 
place as with you ; but here is the land great, and bad as 
to harbors, and in all parts may flrangers expect hoftility, 
when it does not turn out as has been with you." After 
this, Gudleif and his people put to fea, and they landed in 
Ireland late in harveft, and were in Dublin for the winter. 
But in the fummer after, failed they to Iceland, and Gudleif 



Icelandic Sagas. 

delivered over there thefe valuables ; and people held it for 
certain that this man was BJORN, THE CHAMPION OF BREI- 
DAVIK, and no other account to be relied on is there in con- 
firmation of this, except that which is now given here. 108 

108 The reader will no doubt come to 
the fame conclusion drawn by the Ice- 
landers refpecting the identity of the 
aged chief, to whofe generofity and 
friendly feeling Gudleif and his com- 
panions were fo much indebted, and 
unhefitatingly pronounce him to have 
been none other than BJORN ASBRAND- 
who, it will be remembered, had fet fail 
about thirty years before, with a north- 
eaft wind, and had not fince been heard 
of. The remarkable accordance of all 
the perfonal details, to which the writer 
evidently attaches the principal impor- 
tance, with the hiftorical events, which 
are only incidentally alluded to, enable 
us to determine dates and intervals 
of time with a degree of accuracy that 
places the truth of the narrative be- 
yond all queftion, and gives a high de- 
gree of intereft to thefe two voyages. 
The mention of Sigurd Jarl of the Ork- 
neys, Palnatoki, Styrbjorn the nephew 
of Erik of Sweden, the battle of Fyrif- 
vold, Snorri Godi, " the latter part of the 
reign of King Olaf the Saint," gives a 
chronological character to the narra- 
tives, and enables us to fix with confi- 
dence nearly the exact period of the 
principal events. Hence it appears that 
Gudleif Gudlaugfon,failing from the weft 
of Ireland in the year 1029, with a north- 
eaft wind, is driven far to the fouth 
and fouth-weft, where no land was to 
be feen, and that, after being expofed 
for many days to the violence of the 
winds and waves, he at length finds 
Shelter upon a coaft, where Bjorn 
Afbrandfon, who had left Iceland with 
north-eaft winds thirty years before, 

had become eftabliflied as chief of the 
inhabitants of the country. He finds 
him, as might naturally have been ex- 
pected, "Stricken in years," and "his 
hair was white ; " for Bjorn had left Ice- 
land for Jomfborg in the prime of life, 
had, after taking part in the achieve- 
ments of the Jomfvikings up to the 
death of Palnatoki in 993, returned to 
and refided in Iceland until 999, and 
now thirty winters had palled over his 
head fince his ultimate departure from 
his native land. The locality of the 
newly difcovered country is next to be 
determined. Now if a line be drawn 
running north-eaft and fouth-weft, the 
courfe of Bjorn Afbrandfon, from the 
weftern coaft of Iceland, and another 
in the fame direction (the courfe of 
Gudleif Gudlaugfon) from the weft 
coaft of Ireland, they would interfect 
each other on the fouthern mores of 
the United States, fomewhere about 
Carolina or Georgia. This pofition 
accords well with the defcription of the 
locality of their country, given by the 
Skraelings to Thorfinn Karlfefne, and 
which the Northmen believed to be 
White Man's Land, or GREAT IRE- 
LAND, as alfo with the geographical 
notices of the fame land which have 
been already adduced ; and when to 
thefe evidences be added the State- 
ments of Gudleif and his companions 
refpecting the language of the natives, 
''which appeared to them to be Irifli" 
there is every reafon to conclude that 
this was the Hvitramannaland, Alba- 
nia, or Irland ed mikla of the North- 

The notices of the country contained 


Icelandic Sagas. 


in thefe two narratives are, doubtlefs, 
fcanty, and merely incidental, the ob- 
ject of the narrators being evidently 
to trace the romantic and adventurous 
career of the Champion of Breidavik, 
and the perilous voyage of his country- 
men, but this very circumftance is an 
argument in favor of the honefty of the 
ftatement as regards the fuppofed I rim 
fettlement ; and the fimple and unpre- 
tending character of both narratives, 
fupported as they are by hiftorical ref- 
erences, confirmatory of the principal 
events, gives to thefe incidental allu- 
fions a degree of importance to which 
they would not otherwife be entitled. 

Profeflbr Rafn is of opinion that the 
White Man's Land, or Great Ireland 
of the Northmen, was the country fit- 
uated to the fouth of Chefapeake Bay, 
including North and South Carolina, 
Georgia, and Eaft Florida. Beamijh. 

NOTE. There are intimations in 
Scandinavian manufcripts of other 
voyages made to the north and west, 

as that of Erik, Bifhop of Green- 
land, in 1 12 1, that of Adalbrand and 
Helgafon in 1285, and another in 1347, 

but of thefe the information is too 
indefinite to be in any degree fatisfac- 
tory, and accordingly they have not 
been included in this collection. 






|RIK THE RED, in the fpring of 986, emigrated 
from Iceland to Greenland, formed a fettlement 
there, and fixed his refidence at Brattahlid in 
Eriksfiord. Among others who accompanied 
him was Heriulf Bardfon, who eflablifhed him- 
felf at Heriulfsnes. BIARNE, the fon of the latter, was at 
that time abfent on a trading voyage to Norway ; but in 
the courfe of the fummer returning to Eyrar, in Iceland, 
and finding that his father had taken his departure, this 
bold navigator refolved " ftill to fpend the following winter, 
like all the preceding ones, with his father," although neither 
he nor any of his people had ever navigated the Greenland 


109 From " Antiquitates Americans, " collated with the American reprint of 

Synopsis of the Rmdence. 99 

fea. They fet fail, but met with northerly winds and fogs, 
and, after many days' failing, knew not whither they had 
been carried. At length, when the weather again cleared 
up, they faw a land which was without mountains, over- 
grown with wood, and having many gentle elevations. As 
this land did not correfpond to the defcriptions of Green- 
land, they left it on the larboard hand, and continued fail- 
ing two days, when they faw another land, which was flat, 
and overgrown with wood. From thence they flood out to 
fea, and failed three days with a fouth-weft wind, when they 
faw a third land, which was high and mountainous, and 
covered with icebergs (glaciers); they coafled along the 
fhore, and faw that it was an ifland. They did not go on 
fliore, as Biarne did not find the country to be inviting. 
Bearing away from this ifland, they flood out to fea with 
the fame wind, and, after four days' failing with frefh gales, 
they reached Heriulfsnes, in Greenland. 



Some time after this, probably in the year 994, Biarne 
paid a vifit to Erik, Earl of Norway, and told him of his 
voyage, and of the unknown lands he had difcovered. He 
was blamed by many for not having examined thefe countries 
more accurately. On his return to Greenland, there was 
much talk about undertaking a voyage of difcovery. LEIF, 
a fon of Erik the Red, bought Biarne's fhip, and equipped 
it with a crew of thirty-five men, among whom was a Ger- 
man, of the name of TYRKER, who had long refided with his 


ioo Synopsis of 

father, and who had been very fond of Leif in his child- 
hood. In the year 1000 they commenced the projected 
voyage, and came firft to the land which Biarne had feen 
laft. They caft anchor and went on more. No grafs was 
feen ; but everywhere in this country were vaft ice-moun- 
tains (glaciers), and the intermediate fpace between thefe 
and the more was, as it were, one uniform plain of 
flate (hello) : the country appearing to them deftitute of 
good qualities, they called it HELLULAND. They put out 
to fea, and came to another land where they alfo went on 
more. The country was level (JTetf) and covered with 
woods, and, wherefoever they went, there were cliffs of white 
fand (fand-ar hvitir), and a low coaft (6-fce-bratf] ; they 
called the country MARKLAND (Woodland). From thence 
they again flood out to fea, with a north-eaft wind, and 
continued failing for two days before they made land again. 
They then came to an ifland which lay to the eaftward of 
the mainland, and entered a channel between this ifland 
and a promontory projecting in an eafterly (and northerly) 
direction from the mainland. They failed weftward in 
waters where there was much ground left dry at ebb-tide. 
Afterwards they went on more at a place where a river, 
iffuing from a lake, fell into the fea. They brought their 
fhip into the river, and from thence into the lake, where 
they caft anchor. Here they conftrucled fome temporary 
log-huts; but, afterwards, when they had made up their 
mind to winter there, they built large houfes, afterwards 
called LEIFSBUDIR (Leifsbooths). When the buildings were 
completed, Leif divided his people into two companies, who 
were by turns employed in keeping watch at the houfes, 


the Evidence. 101 

and in making fmall excurfions for the purpofe of exploring 
the country in the vicinity : his inftruclions to them were, 
that they mould not go to a greater diftance than that they 
might return in the courfe of the fame evening, and that 
they mould not feparate from one another. Leif took his 
turn alfo, joining the exploring party the one day, and re- 
maining at the houfes the other. It fo happened that one 
day the German, Tyrker, was miffing. Leif accordingly 
went out with twelve men in fearch of him, but they had 
not gone far from their houfes, when they met him coming 
towards them. When Leif inquired why he had been fo 
long abfent, he at firfl answered in German, but they did 
not underftand what he faid. He then faid to them in the 
Norfe tongue : " I did not go much farther, yet I have a 
difcovery to acquaint you with ; I have found vines and 
grapes." He added, by way of confirmation, that he had 
been born in a country where there was plenty of vines. 
They had now two occupations ; viz., to hew timber for 
loading the fhip, and collect grapes : with thefe laft they 
filled the fhip's long-boat. Leif gave a name to the coun- 
try, and called it VINLAND ( Vineland}. In the fpring they 
failed again from thence, and returned to Greenland. 



Leif's Vineland voyage was now a fubjecl: of frequent 
converfation in Greenland, and his brother THORWALD was 
of opinion that the country had not been fufficiently ex- 
plored. He accordingly borrowed Leif's fhip, and, aided 


IO2 Synopsis of 

by his brother's counfel and directions, commenced a voy- 
age in the year 1002. He arrived at Leifsbooths, in Vine- 
land, where they fpent the winter, he and his crew employing 
themfelves in riming. In the fpring of 1003 Thorwald fent 
a party in the fhip's long-boat on a voyage of difcovery 
fouthwards. They found the country beautiful and well 
wooded, with but little space between the woods and the 
fea; there were likewife extenfive ranges of white fand, and 
many iflands and mallows. They found no traces of men 
having been there before them, excepting on an ifland lying 
to the weftward, where they found a wooden med. They 
did not return to Leifsbooths until the fall. In the follow- 
ing fummer, 1004, Thorwald failed eaftward with the large 
fhip, and then northward paft a remarkable headland enclof- 
ing a bay, and which was oppofite to another headland. 
They called it KIALARNES (Keel-Cape}. From thence they 
failed along the eaftern coaft of the land, into the neareft 
firths, to a promontory which there projected, and which 
was everywhere overgrown with wood. There Thorwald 
went afhore with all his companions. He was fo pleafed 
with this place that he exclaimed : " This is beautiful ! and 
here I mould like well to fix my dwelling ! " Afterwards, 
when they were preparing to go on board, they obferved on 
the fandy beach, within the promontory, three hillocks, and 
repairing thither they found three canoes, under each of 
which were three Skraelings (Efquimaux) ; they came to 
blows with the latter, and killed eight, but the ninth efcaped 
with his canoe. Afterwards a countlefs number iffued forth 
againft them from the interior of the bay. They endeav- 
ored to protect themfelves by raifing battle fcreens on the 


the Evidence. 103 

fhip's fide. The Skraelings continued fhooting at them for 
awhile, and then retired. Thorwald was wounded by an 
arrow under the arm ; and, finding that the wound was 
mortal, he faid : " I now advife you to prepare for your de- 
parture as foon as poffible, but me ye mail bring to the 
promontory, where I thought it good to dwell ; it may be 
that it was a prophetic word that fell from my mouth about 
my abiding there for a feafon ; there mall ye bury me, and 
plant a crofs at my head, and another at my feet, and call 
the place KROSSANES (Croffnefs) in all time coming." He 
died, and they did as he had ordered. Afterwards, they 
returned to their companions at Leifsbooths, and fpent the 
winter there; but, in the fpring of 1005, they failed again 
to Greenland, having important intelligence to communi- 
cate to Leif. 


Thorftein, Erik's third fon, had refolved to proceed to 
Vineland to fetch his brother's body. He fitted out the 
fame fhip, and felecled twenty-five ftrong and able-bodied 
men for his crew : his wife, Gudrida, alfo went along with 
him. They were toffed about the ocean during the whole 
fummer, and knew not whither they were driven ; but at 
the clofe of the firft week of winter they landed at Lyfufiord, 
in the weftern fettlement of Greenland. There Thorftein 
died during the winter ; and, in the fpring, Gudrida returned 
again to Eriksfiord. 


Synopsis of 


In the following fummer, 1006, there arrived in Green- 
land two fhips from Iceland : the one was commanded by 
THORFINN, having the very fignificant furname of KARL- 
SEFNE (i.e., one who promifes, or is deftined to be an able or 
great man), a wealthy and powerful man, of illuftrious line- 
age, and fprung from Danifh, Norwegian, Swedifh, Irifh, 
and Scottifh anceftors, fome of whom were kings or of royal 
defcent. He was accompanied by SNORRE THORBRANDSON, 
who was alfo a man of diftinguifhed lineage. The other 
fhip was commanded by BIARNE GRIMOLFSON, of Breide- 
fiord, and THORHALL GAMLASON, of Auftfiord. They kept 
the feftival of Yule, or Chriftmas, at Brattahlid. Thorfmn 
became enamoured of Gudrida, and obtained the confent of 
her brother-in-law, Leif ; and their marriage was celebrated 
in the courfe of the winter. On this, as on former occafions, 
the voyage to Vineland formed a favorite theme of conver- 
fation, and Thorfinn was urged both by his wife and others 
to undertake fuch a voyage. It was accordingly refolved 
on. In the fpring of 1007, Karlfefne and Snorre fitted out 
their (hip, and Biarne and Thorhall likewife equipped theirs. 
A third fhip (being that in which Gudrida's father, Thor- 
biorn, had formerly come to Greenland) was commanded 
by THORWARD, who was married to FREYDISA, a natural 
daughter of Erik the Red ; and on board the fhip was alfo 
a man of the name of THORHALL, who had long ferved Erik 
as huntfman in fummer and as houfe-fteward in winter, and 
who had much acquaintance with the uncolonized parts of 


the Evidence. 105 

Greenland. The whole expedition confifted of one hundred 
and fixty men ; and they took with them all kinds of live 
ftock, it being their intention to eflablifh a colony, if pofli- 
ble. They failed firfl to the Wefterbygd, and afterwards to 
Biarney (Difco). From thence they failed in a foutherly 
direction to HELLULAND, where they found many foxes ; and 
again two days in a foutherly direction to MARKLAND, 
a country overgrown with wood, and plentifully flocked 
with animals. Leaving this, they continued in a fouth-weft 
direction for a long time, having the land to ftarboard, until 
they at length came to KIALARNES, where there were track- 
lefs deferts and long beaches and fands, called by them 
FURDUSTRANDIR. Faffing thefe, they found the land in- 
dented by inlets. They had two Scots with them, HAKE 
and HEKIA, whom Leif had formerly received from the 
Norwegian king, Olaf Tryggvafon, and who were very fwift 
of foot. They put them on more, recommending them to 
proceed in a fouth-weft direction, and explore the coun- 
try. After the lapfe of three days they returned, bringing 
with them fome grapes and fome ears of wheat, which grew 
wild in that region. They continued their courfe until they 
came to a place where a firth penetrated far into the coun- 
try. Off the mouth of it was an ifland, paft which there 
ran ftrong currents, which was alfo the cafe farther up the 
firth. On the ifland there were an immenfe number of 
eider-ducks, fo that it was fcarcely poffible to walk without 
treading on their eggs. They called the ifland STRAUMEY 
(Stream Ifle), and the firth STRAUMFIORDR (Stream Firt/i). 
They landed on the more of this firth, and made prepara- 
tions for their winter refidence. The country was extremely 


io6 Synopsis of 

beautiful. They confined their operations to exploring the 
country. Thorhall afterwards wifhed to proceed in a north 
direction in queft of Vineland. Karlfefne chofe rather to 
go to the fouth-weft. Thorhall, and eight men with him, 
quitted them, and failed paft Fursuftrandir and Kialarnes ; 
but they were driven by wefterly gales to the coaft of Ireland, 
where, according to the accounts of fome traders, they were 
beaten and made flaves. Karlfefne, together with Snorre 
and Biarne, and the reft of the mips' companies, in all one 
hundred and thirty-one (CXXXI.) men, failed fouthwards, 
and arrived at the place where a river falls into the fea from 
a lake. Oppofite to the mouth of the river were large 
iflands. They fleered into the lake, and called the place 
HOP (i Hope). On the low grounds they found fields of 
wheat growing wild ; and on the riling ground, vines. While 
looking about one morning, they obferved a great number 
of canoes. As they exhibited friendly fignals, the canoes 
approached nearer to them, and the natives looked with 
aftonifhment at thofe they met there. Thefe people were 
fallow, and ill-looking ; had ugly heads of hair, large eyes, 
and broad cheeks. After they had gazed at them for awhile, 
they rowed away again to the fouth-weft paft the cape. 
Karlfefne and his company had erected their dwelling- 
houfes a little above the bay, and there they fpent the win- 
ter. No fnow fell, and the cattle found their food in the 
open field. One morning early, in the beginning of 1008, 
they defcried a number of canoes coming from the fouth-weft 
paft the cape. Karlfefne having held up a white fhield as a 
friendly fignal, they drew nigh, and immediately commenced 
bartering. Thefe people chofe in preference red cloth, and 


the Evidence. 107 

gave furs and fquirrel (kins in exchange. They would fain 
alfo have bought fwords and fpears, but thefe Karlfefne and 
Snorre prohibited their people from felling. In exchange 
for a fkin, entirely gray, the Skraelings took a piece of cloth 
of a fpan in breadth, and bound it round their heads. Their 
barter was carried on in this way for fome time. The North- 
men found that their cloth was beginning to grow fcarce, 
whereupon they cut it up in fmaller pieces, not broader 
than a finger's breadth ; yet the Skraelings gave as much for 
thefe fmaller pieces as they had formerly given for the larger 
ones, or even more. Karlfefne alfo caufed the women to 
make and pour out milk foup, and the Skraelings relifhing 
the tafte of it, they defired to buy it in preference to every 
thing elfe ; fo they wound up their traffic by carrying away 
their bargains in their ftomachs. Whilft this trade was 
going on, it happened that a bull, which Karlfefne had 
brought along with him, came out of the wood and bellowed 
loudly. At this the Skraelings became terrified, rufhed to 
their canoes, and rowed away fouthwards. About this time, 
Gudrida, Karlfefne's wife, gave birth to a fon, who received 
the name of SNORRE. In the beginning of the following 
winter the Skraelings came again in much greater numbers ; 
they fhowed fymptoms of hoftility, fetting up loud yells. 
Karlfefne caufed the red fhield to be borne againft them, 
whereupon they advanced againft each other, and a battle 
commenced. There was a galling difcharge of miffiles. 
The Skraelings had a fort of war flings ; they elevated on a 
pole a tremendoufly large ball, almoft the fize of a fheep's 
ftomach, and of a bluifh color ; this they fwung from the 
pole upon land over Karlfefne's people, and it defcended 


io8 Synopsis of 

with a fearful crafh. This ftruck terror into the Northmen, 
and they fled along the river. Freydifa came out, and fee- 
ing them flying, fhe exclaimed : " How can ftout men like 
you fly from thefe miferable caitiffs, whom I thought you 
could knock down like cattle ! If I had only a weapon, I 
ween I could fight better than any of you ! " They heeded 
not her words. She tried to keep pace with them, but the 
advanced ftate of her pregnancy retarded her : she, however, 
followed them into the wood. There fhe encountered a 
dead body : it was THORBRAND SNORRASON ; a flat flone 
was flicking faft in his head, and his naked fword lay by his 
fide ; this fhe took up, and prepared to defend herfelf. She 
uncovered her bofom, and ftruck it with the naked fword. 
At this fight the Skraelings became terrified, and ran off to 
their canoes. Karlfefne and the reft now came up to her, 
and praifed her courage. They were now become aware 
that, although the country held out many advantages, ftill 
the life that they would have to lead here would be one of 
conftant alarm from the hoftile attacks of the natives. They 
therefore made preparations for departure, with the refolu- 
tion of returning to their own country. Sailing eaftward, 
they arrived in Streamfirth. Karlfefne then took one of the 
fhips, and failed in queft of Thorhall, while the reft remained 
behind. They proceeded northwards round Kialarnes, and, 
after that, were carried to the north-weft. The land lay to 
the larboard of them ; there were thick forefts in all direc- 
tions, as far as they could fee, with fcarcely any open fpace. 
They confidered the hills at Hope, and thofe which they 
now faw, as forming part of one continued range. They 
fpent the third winter at Streamfirth. Karlfefne's fon, 


the Evidence. 109 

Snorre, was now three years of age. When they failed 
from Vineland, they had foutherly wind, and came to Mark- 
land, where they met with five Skraelings. They caught 
two of them (two boys), whom they carried away with them, 
and taught them the Norfe language, and baptized them. 
Thefe children faid that their mother was called VETHILLDI, 
and their father UV/EGE ; they faid that the Skraelings were 
ruled by chieftains (kings), one of whom was called AVALL- 
DAMON, and the other VALDIDIDA ; that there were no houfes 
in the country, but that the people dwelt in holes and cav- 
erns. Biarne Grimolfson was driven into the Irim Ocean, 
and came into waters that were fo infefted with worms that 
their fhip was in confequence reduced to a finking ftate. 
Some of the crew, however, were faved in the boat, as it 
had been fmeared with feal-oil tar, which is a preventive 
againft the attack of worms. Karlfefne continued his voy- 
age to Greenland, and arrived at Eriksfiord. 


During the fame fummer, ion, there arrived in Green- 
land a fhip from Norway, commanded by two brothers, 
from Auftfiord in Iceland, HELGE and FINNBOGE, who 
paffed the following winter in Greenland. FREYDISA went 
to them, and propofed a voyage to Vineland, on the condi- 
tion that they mould mare equally with her in all the profits 
which the voyage might yield : to this they affented. Frey- 
difa and thefe brothers entered into a mutual agreement 
that each party mould have thirty able-bodied men on board 


1 1 o Synopsis of 

their fhip, befides women ; but Freydifa immediately devi- 
ated from the agreement, and took with her five additional 
men, whom me concealed. In 1012 they arrived at Leifs- 
booths, where they fpent the following winter. The con- 
duct of Freydifa occafioned a coolnefs and diftance between 
the parties ; and by her fubtle arts me ultimately prevailed 
on her hufband to maffacre the brothers and their followers. 
After the perpetration of this bafe deed, they, in the fpring 
of 1013, returned to Greenland, where Thorfinn lay ready 
to fail for Norway, and was waiting for a fair wind: the 
fhip he commanded was fo richly laden, that it was generally 
admitted that a more valuable cargo had never left Green- 
land. As foon as the wind became favorable he failed to 
Norway, where he fpent the following winter, and fold his 
goods. Next year, when he was ready to fail for Iceland, 
there came a German from Bremen, who wanted to buy a 
piece of wood from him : he gave for it half a mark of gold : 
it was the wood of the Mazer-tree, from Vineland. Karl- 
fefne went to Iceland, and in the following year, 1015, he 
bought the Glaumbce eflate, in Skagefiord, in the northland 
quarter, where he refided during the remainder of his life. 
His fon, Snorre, who had been born in America, was his 
fucceffor on this eflate. When the latter married, his 
mother made a pilgrimage to Rome, and afterwards returned 
to her fon's houfe at Glaumboe, where he had in the mean 
time ordered a church to be built. The mother lived long 
as a religious reclufe. A numerous and illuflrious race de- 
fcended from Karlfefne, among whom may be mentioned 
the learned bifhop Thorlak Runolfson, born in 1085, of 
Snorre's daughter, Halfrida, to whom we are principally 


the Evidence. 

1 1 1 

indebted for the oldeft ecclefiaftical Code of Iceland, pub- 
lifhed in the year 1 123 ; it is alfo probable that the accounts 
of the voyages here mentioned were originally compiled 
by him. 






IT is a fortunate circumftance that thefe ancient accounts 
have preferved not only geographical, but alfo nautical and 
aftronomical fafls, that may ferve in fixing the pofition of 
the lands and places named. The nautical fafls are of fpe- 
cial importance, although hitherto they have not been fufri- 
ciently attended to ; thefe confift in ftatements of the courfe 
fleered and the diftance failed in a day./ From data in the 
Landnama and feveral other ancient Icelandic geographical 
works, we may gather that the diftance of a day's failing 
was eftimated at twenty-feven to thirty geographical miles 
(German or Danifh, of which fifteen are equal to a degree, 


Identity of the Places Visited. 113 

each of thefe being, accordingly, equal to four Englifh fea- 
miles). From the ifland of HELLULAND, afterwards called 
little Helluland, Biarne failed to Heriulfsnes (Ikigeit\ in 
Greenland, with ftrong fouth-wefterly gales, in four days. 
The diflance between that cape and Newfoundland is about 
one hundred and fifty miles, which will correfpond, when 
we take into conlideration the flrong gales. In modern 
defcriptions it is ftated that this land partly confifts of naked 
rocky flats, where no tree, nor even a fhrub, can grow, and 
which are therefore ufually called Barrens ; thus anfwer- 
ing completely to the hellur of the ancient Northmen, from 
which they named the country. 

MARKLAND was fituate to the fouth-weft of Helluland, dif- 
tant about three days' fail, or from eighty to ninety miles. 
Here, then, we have Nova Scotia, of which the defcriptions 
given by later writers anfwer to that given by the ancient 
Northmen of Markland : " the land is low in general ; " 
"the coaft to the fea-ward being level and low, and the 
mores marked with white rocks ; " " the land is low, with 
white fandy cliffs, particularly vifible at fea," fays the new 
" North American Pilot," by J. W. Norie, and another 
American failor : " on the more are fome cliffs of exceed- 
ingly white fand," Here " level" correfponds completely to 
the Icelandic "Jlett," "low to the fea-ward" to the fhort 
expreffion " 6-fce-bratt" and " white fandy cliffs " to the 
" hvit-ir fand-ar" of the Northmen. Nova Scotia, as alfo 
New Brunfwick and Lower Canada, fituate more in-land, 
which probably may be confidered as all belonging to the 
Markland of the Northmen, are almoft everywhere covered 
with immenfe forefts. 


1 14 Identity of the 

VINLAND was fituate at the diftance of two days' fail, con- 
fequently from fifty-four to fixty miles, in a fouth-wefterly 
direction from Markland. The diftance from Cape Sable 
to Cape Cod is ftated in nautical works as being weft by 
fouth about feventy leagues ; that is, about two hundred 
miles. Biarne's defcription of the coaft is very accurate, 
and in the ifland fituate to the eaftward (between which and 
the promontory that ftretches to eaftward and northward 
Leif failed) we recognize Nantucket. The ancient North- 
men found there many mallows (grunnftzfui mikit) ; 
modern navigators make mention at the fame place "of 
numerous reefs and other Ihoals," and fay " that the whole 
prefents an afpecl: of drowned land." 

KIALARNES (from kiolr, a keel, and nes, a cape, moft likely 
fo named on account of its ftriking refemblance to the keel 
of a fhip, particularly of one of the long fhips of the ancient 
Northmen) muft confequently be Cape Cod, the NAUSET of 
the Indians, which modern geographers have fometimes 
likened to a Horn, and fometimes to a Sickle, or Scythe. 
The ancient Northmen found here trac kiefs deferts (6r<zfi\ 
and long narrow beaches and fand-hills, or fands (Jlrandir 
langar ok fandar) of a very peculiar appearance, on which 
account they called them FURDUSTRANDIR ( Wonder-ftrands, 
from furda, res miranda, and ftrond, ftrand, beach). Com- 
pare the defcription given of this cape by a modern author, 
Hitchcock : " The Dunes, or fand-hills, which are often 
nearly or quite barren of vegetation, and of fnowy white- 
Ktis, forcibly attract the attention on account of their pecu- 
liarity. As we approach the extremity of the cape, the fand 
and barrennefs increafe; and in not a few places it would 


Places Visited. 1 1 5 

need only a party of Bedouin Arabs to crofs the traveller's 
path, to make him feel that he was in the depths of an 
Arabian or Libyan defert? A remarkable natural phe- 
nomenon, which is obferved there, has alfo moft probably 
had a (hare in giving rife to that peculiar name. It is thus 
defcribed by the fame author: " In crofling the fands of the 
cape, I noticed ajingular mirage or deception. In Orleans, 
for inflance, we feemed to be afcending at an angle of three 
or four degrees ; nor was I convinced that fuch was not the 
cafe, until turning about I perceived that a fimilar afcent 
appeared in the road juft paffed over. I fhall not attempt 
to explain this optical deception, but merely remark that 
it is probably of the fame kind as that obferved by Hum- 
boldt on the Pampas of Venezuela : ' All around us,' fays 
he, ' the plains feemed -to afcend towards the fky.' " Thus 
we obferve that the appellation given by the ancient North- 
men to the three ftrands or tracts of coaft, Naufet Beach, 
Chatham Beach, and Monomoy Beach, is remarkably appro- 

The great Gulf Stream, as it is called, which iffues 
from the Gulf of Mexico, and runs between Florida, Cuba, 
and the Bahama Ifles, and fo northwards in a direction 
parallel to the eaftern coaft of North America, and of which 
the channel, in ancient times, is faid to have approached 
ftill nearer to the coaft, occafions great currents precifely at 
this place, inafmuch as the peninfula of Barnftaple offers 110 
oppofition to the ftream, as it comes from the fouthward. 


110 The "great currents "of the Gulf it" by the peninsular of Cape Cod, or 
Stream, and the " oppofition offered to "Barnftaple," are altogether matters 


1 1 6 Identity of the 

The STRAUMFIORDR of the ancient Northmen is fuppofed 
to be Buzzard's Bay ; and STRAUMEY, Marthas Vineyard ; 
although the accounts of the many eggs found there would 
feem more precifely to correfpond to the ifland which lies 
off the entrance of Vineyard Sound, and which to this day 
is called Egg Ifland. 

KROSSANES is probably Gurnet Point. It must have 
been fomewhat to the northward of this that Karlfefne 
landed, when he faw the mountain range ( The Blue Hills], 
which he conlidered as forming part of the fame range that 
extends to the region where we recognize the place named 
Hop (i Hope). 

The word ndp, in Icelandic, may either denote a fmall 
recefs, or bay, formed by a river from the interior falling 
into an inlet from the fea, or the land bordering on fuch a 
bay. To this Mount Hope's Bay, or MONT HAUP'S BAY, as 


of fancy. For the purpofe of obtaining and velocity vary with the force and direction of 

accurate information on the subject, long-continued winds. 

we addreffed a note to the Superintend- ^EDWARD P. LULL 

ent of the Coaft Survey, and received Hydrographic Inspector, U. S. C. S. 

the following reply: Mr. EDMUND F. SLAFTER. 

The velocity of the Gulf Stream in 

U. S. COAST SURVEY OFFICE, J he Stra j ts <* Florida, lat. 25 05', we 
Washington, Sept. 7, 1876. know to be onl y one and feventh-tenths 
-. c ,, , .. , of a mile per hour. Vide Letter of Pro- 
DEAR SIR, Your letter of 28th Auguft to / /r r>- <- LTTO/^JIO 
the Superintendent of the Coaft Survly, re- feffor Peirce, Supt. U. S. Coaft Sur- 
quefting certain information regarding the Gulf vev > Journal Am. Geog. and Stat. 
Stream off Cape Cod in lats. 41 to 42, has, Soc., Vol. II. p. cix. Its velocity can- 
in his abfence, been referred to this office for no t, therefore, be much over one mile 

re? rL actual obfervations of the Coaft Survey P er ^"F ? Ca P e od : and, if its weft- 
do not extend further north than lat. 40 ; but ern limit 1S one hundred and eighty 
in the Britifh Admiralty chart the velocity of miles diftant, it is vain to look to the 
the Gulf Stream off Cape Cod in lats. 41 and Gulf Stream for any explanation of 

42 ^ > *. from - T to f. w k" 015 ? er hour > the currents in the region of Buzzard's 

and its dittance (weftern limit) as about one r> --ri. j U A ji 

hundred and eighty miles, it following generally ^ay. There are undoubtedly currents 

the one hundred fm. curve. I believe that all there, but they clearly anfe from other 

authorities agree in the fact that its pofition caufes. 

Places Visited. 1 1 7 

the Indians term it, correfponds, through which the Taunton 
River flows, and, by means of the very narrow yet navi- 
gable Pocaffet River, meets the approaching water of the 
ocean at its exit at Seaconnet. It was at this Hdpe that 
Leifsbooths were fituate ; it was above it, and therefore moft 
probably on the beautiful elevation called afterwards by the 
Indians MONT HAUP, that Thorfinn Karlfefne erected his 


Concerning the climate of the country and the quality 
of the foil, and alfo concerning fome of its productions, the 
ancient writings contain fundry illuftrative remarks. The 
climate was fo mild that it appeared the cattle did not re- 
quire winter fodder ; for there came no fnow, and the grafs 
was but flightly withered. Warden ufes fimilar expreffions 
refpecting this region : " La temperature eft fi douce que 
la vegetation fouffre rarement du froid ou de la fecherejfe. 
On 1'appelle le paradis de rAnurique, parce qu'elle 1'em- 
porte fur les autres lieux par fa fituation, fon fol et fon 
climat." " An excurfion from Taunton to Newport, R.I., 
down Taunton River and Mount Hope Bay, conducts the 
traveller among fcenery of great beauty and lovelinefs," fays 
Hitchcock ; and when he adds, " that the beautiful appear- 
ance of the country, and the interefting hiftorical affocia- 
tions connected with that region, confpire to keep the 
attention alive, and to gratify the tafte," he will find that 
this laft remark is applicable to times much more remote 
than he thought of, when he gave expreffion to the above 


1 1 8 Identity of the 

A country of fuch a nature might well deferve the appel- 
lation of " THE GOOD," which was the epithet the ancient 
Northmen beflowed on it ; efpecially as it yielded produc- 
tions whereon they fet a high value, and of which their 
colder native land was for the moft part deftitute. 


Vines grew there fpontaneoufly ; a circumftance which 
Adam of Bremen, a foreign writer of the fame (that is 
of the eleventh) century, mentions that he had learned, 
not from conjecture, but from authentic accounts furnimed 
by Danes. As his authority on this occafion, he cites 
the Danim king, Sveyn Eftrithfon, a nephew of Canute the 
Great. It is well known that vines ftill grow in that region 
in great abundance. 

Spontaneoufly growing wheat (Jjdlfsdnir hveitiakrar). 

At the fubfequent arrival of the Europeans, Maize, or 
Indian corn, as it is called, was found growing here ; this the 
natives reaped without having fowed, 111 and they preferved 
it in holes in the earth, as it conftituted one of their moft 
valuable articles of food. Honeydew 112 was found on the 
ifland which lies off it, as is alfo ftill the cafe. 

Mazer (maufur\ a fpecies of wood of remarkable beauty, 
probably a fpecies of the Acer rubrum, or Acer faccha- 


111 The maize of the Indians did not formed by the leaves of plants in hot 
grow fpontaneoujly, but the feed was weather. It appears to be fecreted by 
carefully preferved and planted by them Aphides, and is fometimes fo abundant 
annually. as to fall from the leaves in drops. 

112 Honey-dew is a fugary, clammy Brande. 
fecretion, formerly regarded as being 

Places Visited. 1 1 9 

rinum, which grows here, and which is called "bird's eye" 
or "curled maple." Wood for building was alfo obtained 

A great number of foreft animals of all kinds. It is 
underftood that the Indians chofe this region in preference, 
for their abode, chiefly on account of the excellent hunting. 

At prefent the forefts are for the mofl part cut down, 
and the animals have withdrawn to the interior and wood- 
land regions. From the natives the Northmen bought 
fquirrel fkins, and all kinds of peltries, which are ftill to be 
found in abundance in this diftricl:. 

Eider-ducks, and other birds, were found in great num- 
bers on the adjacent iflands, as is alfo at prefent the cafe, 
on which account fome of them have the name of Egg- 
Iflands. 113 

Every river was full of fiJJi, among which are mentioned 
excellent falmon. On the coaft was alfo caught a great 
quantity of fifh. The Northmen dug ditches along the 
more, within the high water-mark, and when the tide re- 
ceded they found halibuts in the ditches. On the coaft 
they alfo caught whales, and among thefe the reidr (Ba- 
l<zna phyfalis}. In the modern defcriptions of this region, 
it is ftated " that all the rivers are full of fifh ; " and of the 
waters in that neighborhood it is faid, " II y a une grande 
abondance de poiffons de prefque toutes les efpeces." Sal- 
mon may be mentioned as one of thefe. Not long ago, the 


118 The eider-duck is at this time incubation takes place ; and, confe- 

found in great numbers in the region quently, the eggs here referred to muft 

of Cape Cod in the cold feafon ; but have been the product of other fpe- 

its home is farther to the north, where cies. 

1 20 Identity of the 

whale-fifhery was, in that very region, an important branch 
of induflry; efpecially for the inhabitants of the adjacent 
iflands. 114 Very poffibly the adjacent Whale Rock has its 
name from the fame circumflances. 


Befides the nautical and geographical flatements, one of 
the mofl ancient writings has preferved an ajlronomical 
notice, where it is faid that the days there were of more 
equal length than in Iceland or Greenland ; that, on the 
fhorteft day, the fun rofe at half paft feven o'clock and 
fet at half paft four ; which makes the fhorteft day nine 
hours. This aftronomical obfervation gives for the place 
latitude 41 24' 10". " The latitude of Seaconnet Point, and 
of the fouthernmoft promontory of the Ifland of Conanni- 
cut, is 41 26' north; and that of Point Judith, 41 23.' 
Thefe three headlands form the entrance boundaries of the 
modern Mount Hope Bay, which the ancients, according to 
the analogy of their language, no doubt, called HOPSVATN." 
We thus fee that this ftatement correfponds exactly with 
the other data, and indicates precifely the fame region. 


THE party fent by Thorwald Erikfon in the year 1003, 


114 In early times, the whale was The whale fifhery at Nantucket corn- 
frequently found on the fhores of this menced about 1670, and continued a 
country, fometimes in large fhoals, and fuccefsf ul occupation not far fromninety 
was hunted partly for its oil, partly years, when whales became fcarce, and 
for the fake of food, whale-meat balana, the bufinefs was finally difcontinued. 
or baleine, being frequently mentioned In 1726, eighty-fix were taken. The 
in ancient accounts as an article of pur- greateft number brought in on a fingle 
chafe and fale. Brande. day was eleven. 

Places Visited. 121 

from Leifsbooths, to explore the fouthern coafts, employed 
from four to five months in the expedition ; they therefore 
moft likely examined the coafts of Connecticut and New 
York, probably alfo thofe of New Jerfey, Delaware, and 
Maryland. The defcription of this range of coaft is 


IN thofe times the Efquimaux inhabited more foutherly 
regions than they do at prefent. This is both evident 
from the ancient accounts, and feems befides to gain cor- 
roboration from ancient fkeletons which have been dug up 
in regions even more foutherly than thofe in queftion; 
a circumftance which, however, merits a more accurate 
examination. In the neighborhood of Vineland, oppofite 
the country inhabited by the Efquimaux, there dwelled, 
according to their reports, people who wore white dreffes, 
and had poles borne before them, on which were faftened 
lappets, and who fhouted with a loud voice. This country 
was fuppofed to be HVITRAMANN ALAND, as it was called (the 
Land of the White Men), otherwife called IRLAND IT MIKLA 
(Great Ireland], being probably that part of the coaft of North 
America which extends fouthwards from Chefapeake Bay, 
including North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. 
Among the Shawa-nefe Indians, who fome years ago emi- 
grated from Florida, and are now fettled in Ohio, there is 
preferved a tradition which feems of importance here ; viz., 
that Florida was once inhabited by white people, who 


122 Identity of the 

were in poffeffion of iron implements. 115 Judging from the 
ancient accounts, this muft have been an Irifli Chriftian 
people, who, previous to the year 1000, were fettled in this 
region. The powerful chieftain, ARE MARSON, of Rey- 
kianes, in Iceland, was, in the year 903, driven thither by 
ftorms, and there received baptifm. The firft author of 
this account was his contemporary, Rafn, furnamed the 
Limerick-trader, he having long refided at Limerick, in 
Ireland. The illuftrious Icelandic fage, Are Frode, the 
firft compiler of the Landnama, who was himfelf a de- 
fcendant in the fourth degree from Are Marfon, ftates on 
this fubject that his uncle, Thorkell Gellerfon (whofe 
teftimony he on another occafion declares to be worthy of 
all credit), had been informed by Icelanders, who had their 
information from Thorfinn Sigurdfon, Earl of Orkney, 
that Are had been recognized in Hvitramannaland, and 
could not get away from thence, but was there held in 
high refpecl. This ftatement therefore mows that in thofe 
times there was an occafional intercourfe between the 
weftern European countries (the Orkneys and Ireland) 
and this part of America. 


IT muft have been in this fame country that BIORN AS- 
BRANDSON, furnamed BREIDVIKINGAKAPPI, fpent the latter 
part of his life. He had been adopted into the celebrated 


u6 This tradition of the Indians in 1512, under John Ponce de Leon, 
may have been derived from the vifits There is little probability that it origi- 
of the Spaniards to the coafts of Florida nated at an earlier date. 

Places Visited. 123 

band of Jomfburg warriors under Palnatoke, and took part 
with them in the battle of Fyrifval in Sweden. His illicit 
amatory connection with Thurida of Frodo in Iceland, a fif- 
ter of the powerful Snorre Code, drew upon him the enmity 
and perfecution of the latter ; in confequence of which, he 
found himfelf obliged to quit the country for ever; and, in 
the year 999, he fet fail from Hraunhofn, in Sniofelfnes, 
with a north-eaft wind. GUDLEIF GUDLAUGSON, brother of 
Thorfinn, the anceftor of the celebrated hiftorian, Snorre 
Sturlufon, had made a trading voyage to Dublin ; but when 
he left that place again, with the intention of failing round 
Ireland and returning to Iceland, he met with long con- 
tinuing north-eafterly winds, which drove him far to the 
fouth-weft in the ocean, and at an advanced period of 
the fummer he and his company arrived at laft at an exten- 
five country, but they knew not what country it was. On 
their landing, a crowd of the natives, feveral hundreds in 
number, came againft them, and laid hands on them, and 
bound them. They did not know anybody in the crowd, 
but it feemed to them that their language refembled Irifh. 
The natives now took counfel whether they mould kill the 
flrangers, or make flaves of them. While they were delib- 
erating, a large company approached, difplaying a banner, 
clofe to which rode a man of diftinguimed appearance, 
who was far advanced in years, and had gray hair. The 
matter under deliberation was referred to his decifion. He 
was the aforefaid Biorn Afbrandfon. He caufed Gudleif 
to be brought before him, and, addreffing him in the Norfe 
language, he afked him whence he came. On his replying 
that he was an Icelander, Biorn made many inquiries about 


124 Identity of the 

his acquaintance in Iceland, particularly about his beloved 
Thurida, of Frodo, and about her fon Kiartan, fuppofed to 
be his own fon, and who at that time was the proprietor of 
the eftate of Frodo. In the mean time, the natives becom- 
ing impatient and demanding a decifion, Biorn felected 
twelve of his company as counfellors, and took them afide 
with him, and fome time afterward he went towards Gud- 
leif and his companions, and told them that the natives had 
left the matter to his decifion. He thereupon gave them 
their liberty, and advifed them, although the fummer was 
already far advanced, to depart immediately, becaufe the 
natives were not to be depended on, and were difficult to 
deal with; and, moreover, conceived that an infringement 
on their laws had been committed to their difadvantage. 
He gave them a gold ring for Thurida, and a fvvord for 
Kiartan, and told them to charge his friends and relations 
not to come over to him, as he was now become old, and 
might daily expe6l that old age would get the better of 
him ; that the country was large, having but few harbors, 
and that ftrangers muft everywhere expec"l a hoftile recep- 
tion. They accordingly fet fail again, and found their way 
back to Dublin, where they fpent the winter ; but the 
next fummer they repaired to Iceland and delivered the 
prefents, and all were convinced that it was really Biorn 
Afbrandfon whom they had met with in that country. 

It may be confidered as certain that intercourfe between 
Vineland and Greenland was maintained for a confiderable 
period after this, although the fcanty notices about Green- 
land contained in the ancient MSS. do not furnifh us with 
any fatisfaclory information on this head. . . . 


Places Visited. 125 

After having perufed the authentic documents them- 
felves, which are now acceffible to all, every one will ac- 
knowledge the truth of the hiftorical fact, that during the 
tenth and eleventh centuries the ancient Northmen dif- 
covered and vifited a great extent of the eaftern coafts of 
North America ; and will befides be led to the conviction 
that, during the centuries immediately following, the inter- 
courfe never was entirely difcontinued. The main fact: 
is certain and indifputable. On the other hand, there are 
in thefe, as in all other ancient writings, certain portions 
of the narrative which are obfcure, and which fubfequent 
difquifitions and new interpretations may ferve to clear up. 
On this account it feems of importance that the original 
fources of information mould be publifhed in the ancient 
language, 116 fo that every one may have it in his power to 
confult them, and to form his own judgment as to the 
accuracy of the interpretations given. 

116 The old Icelandic tongue, in under great obligations by printing the 

which the fagas were written, is now Sagas relating to America in the origi- 

fpoken only by a fmall population in nal language, fide by fide with a Danifh 

Iceland. Vide the Earl of Ellefmere's and Latin verfion, in " Antiquitates 

Introduction to "Guide to Northern Americans," where they will ever here- 

Archaeology." The late Profeffor after be acceffible for ftudy and com- 

Rafn has placed the ftudents of hiilory parifon. 


Hirdis rismdl 4^ A.M. 

Midr morgun 6 

Dagmal , 

Dagverdarmal 9 


Haestr dagr 12 

Undarn i*/ 2 P.M. 

Eykt dags 3 

Eyktarstadr 4^ 

Midraptan 6 


Nattverdarmal 9 


Mid n6tt 12 

Otta iy 2 A.M. 

Midotta 3 

Compare the above with the dial. See also antea, p. 34. 

O o> 










T is not our intention to give under this head 
a full bibliography on the fubjecl of this vol- 
ume. The following works, relating directly 
or indirectly to the manners, cuftoms, hiftory, 
literature and language of the Scandinavians, 
and to their voyages to the coafl of America, will be ufeful 
to the reader who defires to give the fubjecl; a careful and 
extended examination : 

Antiqvitates American, five Scriptores Septentrionales Rerum ante- 
Columbianarum in America. Edidit Societas Regia Antiqvariorum 
Septentrionalium. Hafnias, 1837. 

This imperial quarto contains all the evidence, known to 
hiftorical fcholars, touching the vifits of the Northmen to the 
fliores of America. The hiftorical narratives, rehearfmg the 
ftory of the voyagers, are here given in the ancient Icelandic 
language. For the firft time, thefe old Scandinavian man- 
ufcripts of the fourteenth century appear in print. They 
are accompanied by a tranflation into the Latin, and like- 
wife into the Danifh language. We have fufficiently 


1 2 8 Bibliographical. 

indicated the character of this work in the Introduction, 
antea pp. 10-12, to which the reader is referred. 

M. Adami Gefta Hammenburgenfis Ecclefiae Pontificum. Edente M. Lap- 
penberg I. U. D. Reipublicae Hamburgenfis Tabulario. 

of Bremen wrote as early as the year 1075. In 
the work above-named occurs a paffage, which plainly mows 
that the voyages to Vineland were matters well underftood 
in his time among the Danes. This paffage was written 
long before the fagas were reduced to writing. His ftate- 
ment indicates that what was known at that time in regard 
to the voyages to Vineland was ftill in oral tradition, and 
is flrongly corroborative of the narratives of the fagamen 
as found in the Icelandic manufcriptsy' Adam of Bremen's 
hiftory is included in " Monumenta Germaniae Hiftorica," 
edited by George Henry Pertz. Tom. vii. Hannoverae, 
1 846. The paffage referred to is as follows : 

" Praeterea unam adhuc infulam recitavit a multis in eo 
repertam occeano, quae dicitur Winland, eo quod ibi vites 
fponte nafcantur, vinum optimum ferentes. Nam et fruges 
ibi non feminatas habundare, non fabulofa opinione, fed 
certa comperimus relatione Danorum." 

It may be obferved that Adam of Bremen reports what 
he had received from Sveyn Eftrithfon, king of Denmark. 
We give the following tranflation : 

" Moreover, he (the king) ftated that an ifland had been 
found by many in that ocean, which is called Winland, 
becaufe vines grow there fpontaneoufly, producing excellent 
wine. For that fruits abound there, not having been fown, 


Bibliographical. 129 

we are affured not by any vague rumor, but by the truft- 
worthy report brought back by the Danes." 

The Heimfkringla, or Chronicle of the Kings of Norway. Tranflated from 
the Icelandic of Snorro Sturlefon, with a Preliminary DhTertation. 
By Samuel Laing, Efq. London, 1844. 

The author of the Heimfkringla, Snorro Sturlefon, was 
born in the year 1 178, and died in 1241, and his work was 
confequently written not later than the early part of the 
thirteenth century. He alludes to the difcovery of Vine- 
land, and is the next early writer after Adam of Bremen, 
who corroborates the teftimony of the fagas touching the 
Icelandic voyages to America. His reference to Vineland 
is contained in the body of this work. Antea, page 44. 

Mr. Laing's differtation is a thorough difcuffion of 
the whole fubjecl of Northern literature and hiftory, and 
is rendered not the lefs interefting by the frank and bold 
manner in which the author expreffes his opinions on fome 
important queftions. It contains a valuable memoir of 
Snorro Sturlefon. The Englifh reader of this tranflation 
can hardly fail to gain a better knowledge, in many refpecls, 
of the character and mode of life of the Northmen than in 
the more direct treatment of the fubjecl by the hiftorical 

Hifloria Vinlandiae Antiquse, feu Partis Americas Septentrionalis, ubi Nom- 
inis ratio recenfetur, Situs terra? ex dierumbrumalium fpatio expenditur, 
foli fertilitatas et incolarum barbaries, peregrinorum temporarius inco- 
latus et gefta, Vicinarum terrarum nomina et facies ex Antiqvitatibus 
Iflandicis in lucem producla exponuntur. Per Thormodum Torfaeum. 
Rerum Norvegicarum Hiftorigraphum Regium. Havniae : et Typo- 
grapheo Regiae Majeft. et Univerfit. 1705. 

'7 Of 

130 Bibliographical. 

Of this very rare work, there are copies bearing the 
imprint of a later date. On examination, we find the iffue 
of 1715 to be the fame letter-prefs as that of 1705, with 
the exception of two pages ; viz., the title-page and the 
reverfe page containing an " approbatio " by " P. Vin- 
dingius." The cancellation of title-pages and the fubfti- 
tution of new ones were common devices of publifhers of 
that period, to give a frefli impulfe to the fale of books 
that hung heavily upon their hands. We prefume this to 
be an example of the fame kind of enterprife. This little 
work is the earlieft printed volume relating to the voyages 
of the Northmen to America. As the reader paffes along 
over its pages, he will be furprifed to find how carefully this 
learned writer had ftudied the old Scandinavian manufcripts 
relating to thefe weftern voyages, and how fully he has 
incorporated into his narrative the facls now known relating 
to them. Had Torfasus given us a full tranflation of the 
fagas even into Latin, and rendered the complete narrative 
of the originals acceffible to fcholars, little would have 
remained to be done afterward. It is prefumed that the 
hiftorians, who alluded to this fubjecl anterior to the pub- 
lication of the " Antiquitates Americans " in 1837, derived 
their information from this little compendium. Not having 
the text of the fagas before them, they generally difmiffed 
the fubjecl: with a brief and not very explicit allufion, 
hefitating, perhaps, as to what degree of confidence they 
could fafely repofe in this then folitary authority. 

Hiftory of the Voyages and Difcoveries made in the North. Tranflated 
from the German of John Reinhold Forfter. Dublin, 1786. 


Bibliographical. 1 3 1 

The author traces with much detail the colonization of 
both Iceland and Greenland, obtaining his data from the 
two works of Thormond Torfaeus, " Veteris Groenlandise 
Defcriptio " and " Hiftoria Vinlandiae Antique." He refers 
to the teftimony of Adam of Bremen. He fuppofes Vine- 
land to be in latitude 49, and therefore in Newfoundland 
or in Labrador. This arofe from a very different fyftem of 
interpreting the method of calculating time among the Scan- 
dinavians from that adopted by later writers ; or, as fome 
fuppofe, from an error of interpretation. 

Hiftory of the Northmen or Danes and Normans from the Earlieft Times 
to the Conqueft of England by William of Normandy. By Henry 
Wheaton. London, 1831. 

fecond chapter in this work contains a fuccincl 
narrative of the voyages of the Northmen to America: 
befides this, the ftudent of the fagas will find in it an able 
and interefting expofition of the Icelandic literature and 
language. * 

Report addreffed by the Royal Society of Northern Antiquaries to its 
Britifh and American Members. Copenhagen, 1836. 

This volume in Englifh is full of important information 
on the fubjecl of which it treats. It deals with early 
Icelandic and Norwegian accounts of Ireland, the stone 
implements of the pagan Northmen, their gold and bronze 
antiquities, and the Anglo-Saxon Runes. 

The Difcovery of America by the Northmen. North American Review, 
1838, pp. 161-203. By Edward Everett. 

This is a very able and interefting difcuflion of the whole 


132 Bibliographical. 

fubject as made known by Profeffor Rafn's Report. If the 
diftinguifhed writer were now living, and were to reflate 
his views, it is hardly probable that he would change them 
in any important particulars. 

Of the narratives contained in the fagas, he fays : 

" Thefe accounts are either founded on truth, or they are 
wholly falfe ; and thofe who hold to the latter opinion will, 
we think, find more difficulty in carrying out their hypothe- 
fis, than there is in admitting the fubftantial truth of the 

" We are decidedly of opinion that the ancient Icelandic 
accounts, to which we have called the attention of our 
readers, have a foundation in hiftorical truth, and that the 
coaft of North America, and very poffibly this portion of 
it, was vifited by the Northmen." 

But Mr. Everett did not find fatisfactory evidence of the 
Runic character of the writing on the Dighton rock. His 
own words will beft convey the impreffion which was made 
upon his mind by the proofs adduced in favor of their 
Scandinavian origin : 

" That the rock contains fome rude delineations of the 
figures of men and animals is apparent on the firffc infpec- 
tion. The import of the other delineations and characters 
is more open to doubt. By fome perfons the characters are 
regarded as Phoenician. The late Mr. Samuel Harris, of 
this city, a very learned Oriental ift, thought he found the 
Hebrew word melek (king) in thofe characters, which the 
editor of the work before us " (Profeffor Rafn) " regards as 
numerals fignifying cxxxi. Colonel Vallancey confiders 
them to be Scythian, and MefTrs. Rafn and Magnuffen 


Bibliographical. 1 3 3 

think them indubitably Runic. In this great diverfity of 
judgment, a decifion is extremely difficult. The prefent 
copies are too unlike each other to command entire confi- 
dence; and we are not prepared to fay whether, in the 
prefent flate of the rock, better can be taken." He adds : 
" We own that we remain wholly unconvinced in reference 
to its interpretation by the learned and ingenious commen- 
taries of our friends at Copenhagen." 

The writing on the Dighton rock has been copied at nine 
different dates. By Dr. Danforth, in 1680; Dr. Cotton 
Mather, in 1712; Dr. Greenwood, in 1730; Mr. Stephen 
Sewall, in 1768; Mr. James Winthrop, in 1788; Dr. Baylies 
and Mr. Goodwin, in 1790; Mr. Kendall, in 1807 ; Mr. Job 
Gardner, in 1812; the Rhode Ifland Hiftorical Society, in 
1830. Copies of all of them are engraved, and appear in Pro- 
feffor Rafn's great work, the " Antiquitates Americanae." If 
the reader will caft his eye over them, he will obferve that 
the later copies are more diftincT; than the earlier ones, efpe- 
cially in thofe features which have been the fubjec~t of con- 
troverfy. This can only be accounted for on the fuppofition 
that the later fketches were more fkilfully and truthfully 
done, or elfe that the primitive cuttings have become gradu- 
ally deepened by atmofpheric and tidal influences, or poffibly 
fome ingenious idler may have undertaken, impelled by a 
generous impulfe, to improve what he conceived the Scan- 
dinavian fculptor left in an unfinished flate. 

The Northmen in New England, or America in the Tenth Century. By 
Jofhua Tolman Smith. Boston, 1839. 

The author difcuffes the whole fubjecl after a very care- 

134 Bibliographical. 

ful fludy of the " Antiquitates Americanse." He is a flrenu- 
ous and enthufiaftic believer in the Scandinavian origin of the 
infcriptions on the Dighton rock, a theory which has now 
pretty much faded out. The work is written in the form 
of a dialogue, which gives it a popular call, but is not a 
very fatisfactory mode of prefenting hiftorical truth, efpe- 
cially if queftions of doubt enter into it. Objections to a 
theory can hardly be ftated and anfwered fairly by a devotee 
of the theory objected to. 

In the main, the work is a faithful and truftworthy report 
of the facts contained in the " Antiquitates Americanae." 

The Difcovery of America by the Northmen in the Tenth Century, with 
Notices of the Early Settlements of the Irifh in the Weftern Hemif- 
phere. By North Ludlow Beamifh, Fellow of the Royal Society, &c., 
&c. London, 1841. 

The reader will hardly find a better account, in the fame 
fpace, of Icelandic hiftorical literature, than is contained in 
the introduction to this work. The author has alfo given 
a tranflation of all the extracts from the fagas which defcribe 
the voyages of the Northmen to America. In the fecond 
part, he deals with monuments and infcriptions, which in 
his judgment corroborate the difcoveries of the Northmen. 
He accepts the theory of the Northern antiquaries as to 
the Scandinavian origin of the writing upon the Dighton 
rock, now generally difallowed. He gives an interefting 
account of the monuments in Greenland, which undoubtedly 
have a Scandinavian origin. 

Sele<5t Letters of Chriftopher Columbus, with other Original Documents 
relating to his Four Voyages to the New World. Tranflated and 


Bibliographical. 135 

edited by R. H. Major, Efq., of the Britifh Mufeum. London. Printed 
for the Hakluyt Society. 1847. 

In the introduction, the editor gives the narrative of the 
difcovery of America by the Icelanders, as contained in the 
fagas, with much particularity and fulnefs, with interefting 
and valuable critical obfervations. 

Guide to Northern Archaeology. By the Royal Society of Northern Anti- 
quaries of Copenhagen. Edited for the ufe of Englifh readers. By 
the Right Honorable the Earl of Ellefmere. London, 1848. 

Befides a valuable introduction by the author, the vol- 
ume contains an interefting treatife on the extent and 
importance of Northern literature, the monuments and 
antiquities of the North, and a r'efume of the undertakings 
of the Society with fome account of its Cabinet and Library. 

Northern Antiquities ; or, An Hiflorical Account of the Manners, Cuftoms, 
Religion, and Laws, Maritime Expeditions and Difcoveries, Language 
and Literature of the Ancient Scandinavians. Tranflated from the 
French of Paul Henri Mallet by Bifliop Percy. London, 1847. 

This is not only an excellent treatife on this very wide 
fubject, but it likewife contains a brief but comprehenfive 
narrative of the difcovery of America by the Northmen. 

Cofmos : A Sketch of a Phyfical Defcription of the Univerfe. By Alex- 
ander Von Humboldt. Tranflated from the German by E. C. Otte'. 
London, 1849. 

In treating of the difcovery of America, the author refers 
to the voyages of the Northmen to this continent as a matter 
of fettled hiftory. He does not even offer an apology, or 
fuggeft a doubt. The reader will find his views fully ftated 
in Vol. II. pp. 602-608. The vafl learning, juft difcrimi- 


1 3 6 Bibliographical. 

nation and found fenfe of this diftinguifhed fcholar, give 
great weight to his opinions on any fubjecl. 

Hiftory of Scandinavia from the Early Times of the Northmen, the Sea- 
kings and Vikings, to the Prefent Day. By Profeffor Paul C. Sinding. 
London, 1866. 

Twelve pages, from 74 to 86, relate to the voyages to 

The Hiftory of Greenland. By David Crantz. London, 1820. Vol. I. 
pp. 233-237. 

The narrative of the difcovery of America is evidently 
taken from Torfaeus. It is full and generally correct. There 
is much in this work which will caft light upon the Northern 
mode of life. 

The Private Life of the Old Northmen. By Profeffor Keyfer of the Royal 
Univerfity in Chriftiana, Norway. Tranflated by the Rev. M. R. 
Barnard, B.A. London, 1868. 

This little volume gives a detailed account of the man- 
ners and cuftoms of the Northmen at the period when their 
voyagers were vifiting the coafts of America. It will be 
found ufeful in illuftrating more or lefs the text of the 

The Pre-Columbian Difcovery of America by the Northmen. Illuftrated 
by tranflations from the Icelandic Sagas. Edited, with notes and a 
General Introduction, by B. F. De Costa. Albany, 1868. 

This valuable treatife will be read with intereft by thofe 
who accept the narratives of the fagamen, not only in their 
general fcope, but likewife in their details. It is a fpecial 
aim of the author to point out and identify the places 


Bibliographical. 1 3 7 

defcribed in the fagas. With this view, he traces the 
courfe of the Northmen along the fliores of Cape Cod, 
identifying the places vifited by them with great ingenuity, 
if not with entire fatisfaction to his lefs credulous readers. 
The General Introduction contains much valuable informa- 

America not Difcovered by Columbus. A Hiftorical Sketch of the Dif- 
covery of America by the Northmen in the Tenth Century. By R. B. 
Anderson, A.M., of the Univerfity of Wifconfm. Chicago, 1874. 

' This is a compilation rather than an original work. Of 
the old mill at Newport, the author fays it was undoubtedly 
built by the Norfemen. Of the infcriptions upon the rock 
in Taunton River, he adds : " Upon the whole, the Dighton 
Writing Rock removes all doubt concerning the prefence 
of Thorfinn Karlfefne and the Norfemen at Taunton River, 
in the beginning of the eleventh century." Even the 
"fkeleton in armor," found at Fall River in 1831, capti- 
vates the too credulous author. .- 

The Early Kings of Norway. By Thomas Carlyle. New York, 1875. 

Something may be learned from this little volume of the 
fpirit of Northern life and fociety in the tenth and eleventh 
centuries. The author refers briefly to the difcovery of 
America. " Towards the end," he fays, " of this Hakon's 
reign it was that the difcovery of America took place (985). 
Aclual difcovery, it appears, by Eric the Red, an Icelander ; 
concerning which there has been abundant inveftigation 
and difcuffion in our time." Again he adds : " It appears 
to be certain that from the end of the tenth century to the 
early part of the fourteenth there was a dim knowledge of 



1 3 8 Bibliographical. 

thofe diftant mores extant in the Norfe mind, and even 
fome ftraggling feries of vifits thither by roving Norfemen ; 
though as only danger, difficulty, and no profit refulted, the 
vifits ceafed, and the whole matter fank into oblivion, and, 
but for the Icelandic talent of writing in the long winter 
nights, would never have been heard of by pofterity at all." 

The following works will illuftrate the character of 
Scandinavian life and literature, and may incidentally and 
remotely throw light upon the text of the fagas. 

A Manual of Scandinavian Mythology, containing a Popular Account of 

the Two Eddas, and of the Religion of Odin. By Grenville Pigott. 

London, 1839. 
The Story of Burnt Njal ; or, Life in Iceland at the End of the Tenth 

Century. From the Icelandic of the Njal's Saga. By George Webbe 

Dafent, D.C.L. Edinburgh, 1861. 

Viga Glum's Saga : the Story of Viga-Glum. Tranflated from the Ice- 
landic, with notes and an introduction, by the Right Honorable Sir 

Edmund Head, Bart. K.C.B. London, 1866. 
Icelandic Legends. Collected by Jon Arnafon. Tranflated by George 

E. J. Powell and Eirfkur Magniiffon. London, 1864. 
Ballad Stories of the Affeclions. From the Scandinavian. By Robert 

Buchanan. London, 1869. 
The Story of Gifli the Outlaw. From the Icelandic by George Webbe 

Dafent, D.C.L. Edinburgh, 1866. 
The Story of Grettir the Strong. Tranflated from the Icelandic by Eirikr 

Magntiflbn and William Morris. London, 1869. 

As the geography, climate, and capabilities of the foil of 
Iceland have probably changed very little, on the whole, 
fince the tenth century, the defcriptions of modern travellers 
will Ihed more or lefs light upon the text of the fagas. The 


Bibliographical. 139 

following will be found interefting and valuable in that 
view : 

Iceland ; or, The Journal of a Reficlence in that Ifland in 1814 and 1815. 
By Ebenezer Henderfon. Bofton, 1831. 

A Vifit to Iceland. By John Barrow. London, 1835. 

A Journey to Iceland. By Ida Pfeiffer. New York, 1852. 

Nordurf arri or, Rambles in Iceland. By Pliny Miles. New York, 1854. 

Letters from High Latitudes. By Lord Dufferin. London, 1857. 

The Oxonian in Iceland. By the Rev. Frederick Metcalfe. London, 

An American in Iceland. An Account of its Scenery, People, and Hif- 
tory : with a defcription of its Millennial Celebration in Auguft, 1874, 
with notes on the Orkney, Shetland, and Faroe Iflands, and the Great 
Eruption of 1875. By Samuel Kneeland, A.M., M.D., Secretary and 
Profeffor of Zoology and Phyfiology in the MafTachufetts Inftitute of 
Technology. Bofton, 1876. 

The foregoing works contain fo full and ample a delinea- 
tion of thofe features of Iceland that are unchanging and 
characleriftic, that the ftudent of the fagas will be greatly 
aided by their perufal. The laft-named volume is the lateft 
on the fubjecl which has appeared. Its ftyle is clear, fimple, 
and graceful. It has enough of learning to be inftruclive 
without being obfcure or tedious. Its defcriptions are 
vivid, its pictures are fharply and clearly drawn and leave 
a fixed and permanent impreffion upon the mind. The 
views expreffed in the chapter on the difcovery of America, 
touching Icelandic remains in this country, will not probably 
be concurred in by all readers. 

We might add many other works to the number already 
referred to as relating more or lefs directly to the fubje<5l 
of this volume. The " Hiftory of New England," by Dr. 


140 Bibliographical. 

Palfrey, contains a very full ftatement and recognition of 
the difcoveries of the Northmen, and a convincing refuta- 
tion of the claim for the Scandinavian origin of the writing 
on the Dighton rock, and of the old ftone mill at Newport. 
Mr. Bancroft, in the earlier! edition of his " Hiftory of the 
United States," treats the alleged Icelandic voyages to 
this continent as a myth, and, in his laft, has not in any 
degree modified his fweeping ftatements of diftruft. We 
are not aware that any other diftinguifhed hiftorian has 
reached the fame conclufion. Dr. J. G. Kohl, in his " Hif- 
tory of the Difcovery of Maine," traces with great minute- 
nefs the courfe of the Icelandic voyagers along the fliores 
of New England. But his views are controverted, efpecially 
with reference to the vifits of the Northmen to the coaffcs 
of Maine, by the Rev. B. F. De Cofta, in a volume entitled 
the " Northmen in Maine." 

The narratives of the fagas are in their outlines clear 
and diftincl:; and unprejudiced hiftorians and antiquaries, 
who have no theory to fuftain, will not, in our apprehenfion, 
differ as to their general interpretation. But, in minor 
features and leffer local defcriptions, they are exceedingly 
indefinite; and whoever aims to fix upon the exact move- 
ments of the Northmen on our coaft, and the particular 
localities which they occupied when here, will doubtlefs 
find himfelf confronted by the champion of fome other 
theory, armed poffibly with as many good reafons as he can 
render for his own. 











Correfponding Secretary. 

Recording Secretary. 




The Hon. Charles Francis Adams, LL.D. . . Bofton, Mafs. 

Samuel Agnew, Efq Philadelphia, Pa. 

Thomas Coffin Amory, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

William Sumner Appleton, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Walter T. Avery, Efq New York, N.Y. 

George L. Balcom, Efq Claremont, N.H. 

Jofeph Ballard, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

S. L. M. Barlow, Efq New York, N.Y. 

Nathaniel J. Bartlett, A.B Bofton, Mafs. 

The Hon. Charles H. Bell, A.M Exeter, N.H. 

John J. Bell, A.M Exeter, N.H. 

Samuel L. Boardman, Efq Augufta, Me. 

The Hon. James Ware Bradbury, LL.D. . . Augufta, Me. 

J. Carfon Brevoort, LL.D Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Sidney Brooks, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Mrs. John Carter Brown Providence, R.I. 

John Marfhal Brown, A.M Portland, Me. 

Jofeph O. Brown, Efq New York, N.Y. 

Philip Henry Brown, A.M Portland, Me. 

Thomas O. H. P. Burnham, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

George Bement Butler, Efq New York, N.Y. 

George Bigelow Chafe, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

The Hon. Mellen Chamberlain, A.M Chelfea, Mafs. 

William Eaton Chandler, A.M Concord, N.H. 

Lucius E. Chittenden, A.M New York, N.Y. 

Ethan N. Coburn, Efq Charleftown, Mafs. 

The Prince Society. 145 

Jeremiah Colburn, A.M. . Boflon, Mafs. 

Jofeph J. Cooke, Efq Providence, R.I. 

Deloraine P. Corey, Efq Boflon, Mafs. 

Eraftus Corning, Efq Albany, N.Y. 

Ellery Bicknell Crane, Efq Worcefter, Mafs. 

Abram E. Cutter, Efq Charleftown, Mafs. 

The Rev. Edwin A. Dalrymple, S.T.D. . . . Baltimore, Md. 

William M. Darlington, Efq Pittfburg, Pa. 

Henry B. Dawfon, Efq Morrifania, N.Y. 

Charles Deane, LL.D Cambridge, Mafs. 

John Ward Dean, A.M Boflon, Mafs. 

The Rev. Henry Martyn Dexter, D.D. . . . Boflon, Mafs. 

Samuel Adams Drake Melrofe, Mafs. 

Harry H. Edes, Efq Charleftown, Mafs. 

Jonathan Edwards, A.B., M.D New Haven, Ct. 

Samuel Eliot, LL.D Boflon, Mafs. 

The Rev. George E. Ellis, D.D Boflon, Mafs. 

Alfred Langdon Elwyn, M.D Philadelphia, Pa. 

James Emott, Efq New York, N.Y. 

The Hon. William M. Evarts, LL.D New York, N.Y. 

Charles S. Fellows, Efq Chicago, 111. 

John S. H. Fogg, M.D Bofton, Mafs. 

The Rev. Henry W. Foote, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

William F. Fowle, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Samuel P. Fowler, Efq Danvers, Mafs. 

The Hon. Richard Frothingham, LL.D. . . . Charleftown, Mafs. 

James E. Gale, Efq Haverhill, Mafs. 

Marcus D. Gilman, Efq Montpelier, Vt. 

The Hon. John E. Godfrey Bangor, Me. 

Abner C. Goodell, Jr., A.M Salem, Mafs. 

Elbridge H. Gofs, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

The Hon. Horace Gray, LL.D Bofton, Mafs. 

George Frederick Gray, Efq Dover, N.H. 

William W. Greenough, A.B Bofton, Mafs. 

Ifaac J. Greenwood, A.M New York, N.Y. 

Charles H. Guild, Efq Somerville, Mafs. 

The Hon. Robert S. Hale, LL.D Elizabethtown, N.Y. 


146 The Prince Society. 

C. Fifke Harris, A.M Providence, R.I. 

David Greene Haflcins, Jr. A.M Cambridge, Mafs. 

The Hon. Francis B. Hayes, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Francis S. Hoffman, Efq. . Philadelphia, Pa. 

James F. Hunnewell, Efq Charleftown, Mafs. 

Theodore Irwin, Efq Ofwego, N.Y. 

William Porter Jarvis, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

John S. Jennefs, A.B New York, N.Y. 

Mr. Sawyer Junior Nafhua, N.H. 

Edward F. de Lancey, Efq New York, N.Y. 

William B. Lapham, M.D Augufta, Me. 

John J. Latting, A.M New York, N.Y. 

Thomas J. Lee, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Jofeph Leonard, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

John A. Lewis, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

William T. R. Marvin, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

William F. Matchett, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Frederic W. G. May, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

The Rev. James H. Means, D.D Bofton, Mafs. 

George H. Moore, LL.D New York, N.Y. 

The Hon. Henry C. Murphy Brooklyn, N.Y. 

The Rev. James De Normandie, A.M. . . . Portfmouth, N.H. 

The Hon. James W. North Augufta, Me. 

Charles Eliot Norton, A.M Cambridge, Mafs. 

George T. Paine, Efq Providence, R.I. 

The Hon. John Gorham Palfrey, LL.D. ... Cambridge, Mafs. 

Daniel Parifti, Jr., Efq New York, N.Y. 

Francis Parkman, LL.B Bofton, Mafs. 

Auguftus T. Perkins, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

The Rev. William Stevens Perry, D.D. . . . Geneva, N.Y. 

William Frederic Poole, A.M Chicago, 111. 

George Prince, Efq Bath, Me. 

Capt. William Prince, U.S.A Springfield, Mafs. 

The Hon. John V. L. Pruyn, LL.D Albany, N.Y. 

Samuel S. Purple, M.D New York, N.Y. 

The Hon. John Phelps Putnam, A.M. . . . Bofton, Mafs. 

The Rev. Alonzo H. Quint, D.D Dover, N.H. 

The Prince Society. 147 

Edward S. Rand, A.M. . . Bofton, Mafs. 

Edward S. Rand, Jr., A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Edward Afliton Rollins, A.M Great Falls, N.H. 

The Rev. Carlos Slafter, A.M Dedham, Mafs. 

The Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Charles C. Smith, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Samuel T. Snow, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

The Hon. Thomas Spooner Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Oliver Blifs Stebbins, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

George Stevens, Efq Lowell, Mafs. 

Edwin W. Stoughton, Efq New York, N.Y. 

The Hon. Benj. F. Thomas, LL.D Bofton, Mafs. 

John Wingate Thornton, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

William B. Trafk, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

The Hon. William H. Tuthill Tipton, Iowa. 

Charles W. Tuttle, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Alexander Hamilton Vinton, D.D Bofton, Mafs. 

George W. Wales, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Jofeph B. Walker, A.M Concord, N.H. 

William Henry Wardwell, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Mifs Rachel Wetherill Philadelphia, Pa. 

Henry Wheatland, A.M., M.D Salem, Mafs. 

Edmund March Wheelwright Bofton, Mafs. 

William H. Whitmore, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

Henry Auftin Whitney, A.M Bofton, Mafs. 

The Hon. Marfliall P. Wilder Bofton, Mafs. 

Henry Winfor, Efq Philadelphia, Pa. 

The Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, LL.D. . . . Bofton, Mafs. 

Charles Levi Woodbury, Efq Bofton, Mafs. 

Afhbel Woodward, M.D Franklin, Ct 


American Antiquarian Society Worcefter, Mafs. 

Amherft College Library Amherft, Mafs. 

Bofton Athenaeum Bofton, Mafs. 

148 The Prince Society. 

Bofton Library Society Bofton, Mafs. 

Britifh Mufeum London, Eng. 

Concord Public Library Concord, Mafs. 

Eben Dale Reference Library Peabody, Mafs. 

Free Public Library Worcefter, Mafs. 

Grofvenor Library Buffalo, N.Y. 

Hiflorical Society of Pennfylvania Philadelphia, Pa. 

Library Company of Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pa. 

Long Ifland Hiflorical Society Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Maine Hiftorical Society Brunfwick, Me. 

Maryland Hiftorical Society Baltimore, Md. 

Maffachufetts Hiftorical Society Bofton, Mafs. 

Mercantile Library New York, N.Y. 

New England Hiftoric Genealogical Society . Bofton, Mafs. 

Newburyport Public Library, Peabody Fund . Newburyport, Mafs. 

Portfmouth Athenaeum Portfmouth, N.H. 

Public Library of the City of Bofton .... Bofton, Mafs. 

Redwood Library Newport, R.I. 

State Library of Maffachufetts Bofton, Mafs. 

State Library of New York Albany, N.Y. 

State Library of Rhode Ifland Providence, R.I. 

State Library of Vermont Montpelier, Vt. 

Williams College Library Williamftown, Mafs. 

Yale College Library New Haven, Ct. 



A true, lively and experimentall defcription of that part of America, commonly called 
New England : difcovering the State of that Countrie, both as it ftands to our new- 
come Engli/h Planters ; and to the old Natiue Inhabitants. By WILLIAM WOOD. 
London, 1634. Preface by Charles Deane, LL.D. 


A Collection of Original Papers relative to the Hiftory of the Colony of Maffachu- 
fetts-Bay. Reprinted from the edition of 1769. Edited by William H. Whitmore, 
A.M., and William S. Appleton, A.M. 2 vols. 


Letters written from New England A.D. 1686. By John Dunton in which are 
defcribed his voyages by Sea, his travels on land, and the characters of his friends 
and acquaintances. Now firft publiflied from the Original Manufcript in the Bodleian 
Library, Oxford. Edited by William H. Whitmore, A.M. 


Being a Collection of Pamphlets and Official Papers iffued during the period be- 
tween the overthrow of the Andros Government and the eftablifhment of the fecond 
Charter of Maffachufetts. Reprinted from the original editions and manufcripts. 
With a Memoir of Sir Edmund Andros, by the editor, William H. Whitmore, A.M. 
3 vols. 


Including three Royal Charters, iffued in 1621, 1625, 1628 ; a Tract entitled an 
Encouragement to Colonies, by Sir William Alexander, 1624; a Patent, from the 
Great Council for New England, of Long Ifland, and a part of the prefent State of 
Maine ; a Roll of the Knights Baronets of New Scotland ; with a Memoir of Sir 
William Alexander, by the editor, the Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, A.M. 


Including his Faft-day Sermon, 1637 ; his Mercurius Americanus, 1645, an< ^ other 
writings ; with a paper on the genuinenefs of the Indian deed of 1629, and a Memoir 
by the editor, Charles H. Bell, A.M. 


Including extracts from Icelandic Sagas relating to weftern voyages by North- 
men in the tenth and eleventh centuries, in an Englifh tranflation by North Ludlow 
Beamifh ; with a Synopfis of the hiftorical evidence and the opinion of Profeffor 
Rafn as to the places vifited by the Scandinavians on the coaft of America. Edited, 
with an Introduction, by the Rev. Edmund F. Slafter, A.M. 


1. CHAMPLAIN'S VOYAGES TO NEW FRANCE, including the Voyage of 1603, and 
all contained in the editions of 1613 and 1619. Tranflated into Englifh by CHARLES 
P. OTIS, Ph.D. Edited, with a Memoir and hiftorical illuftrations, by the Rev. 

2. CAPTAIN JOHN MASON, the founder of New Hampfhire, including his Tract on 
Newfoundland, 1620, and the feveral American Charters in which he was a Grantee j 
with a Memoir and hiftorical illuftrations by CHARLES W. TUTTLE, A.M. 

3. SIR FERDINANDO GORGES, including his Tract entitled A Brief Narration, 1658, 
American Charters granted to him, and other papers ; with hiftorical illuftrations and 
a Memoir by the Rev. EDMUND F. SLAFTER, A.M. 

4. SIR HUMPHREY GILBERT, including his Difcourfe to prove a Paffage by the 
North-Weft to Cathaia and the Eaft Indies ; and his Letters Patent to difcover and 
poffefs lands in North America, granted by Queen Elizabeth, June n, 1578; with 
hiftorical illuftrations and a Memoir by CHARLES W. TUTTLE, A.M. 

It is the intention of the Council to iffue at leaft one volume annually, but not 
neceffarily in the order in which they are placed above. 

NOTE. Communications for officers of the Prince Society may be directed to 

BOSTON, 20 February, 1877. 



ACHY, 85. 

Adalbrand, 97. 

Adam of Bremen, 118, 128, 129, 131. 

Africa, 70, 72. 

Albania, 78, 96. 

Albany, 136. 

Alf, 78. 

Alptafjord, 24, 26, 46. 

Amelanus, 76. 

America, 9, 10, n, 13, 16, 17, 18, 21, 

46, 50, 72, 1 10, 125, 127, 129, 130, 

131, 132, 134, 135, 136. 
Anderfon, R. B., 137, 
Anlaf, 76. 

Antiquarian Mufeum, 15. 
Antiquaries, Northern, Society of, 9, 

34, 131, 135- 
Antiquitates Americanae, 127, 130, 

133, 134- 
Antiquities, Northern, Illuftrations of, 


Antiquities, Northern, 135. 
Archaeology, Northern, Guide to, 14, 

17, 135- 


Arctic, 25. 

Arnarhvol, 81. 

Arnafon, Jon., 138. 

Arnbjorn, 79, 84, 85, 89. 

Arnlaug, 26. 

Arnlaugsfjord, 26. 

Afbrand, 79, 83. 

Afbrandfon, Bjorn, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 

84, 96, 122. 
Afleik, 46. 
Atlantic, 19. 
Atli, 76, 78. 
Auftfjord, 64, 104, log. 
Avalldamon, 109. 
Avalldania, 61. 


Bahama Ifles, 115. 

Bakke, 85, 89. 

Baltic, 77. 

Barnard, Rev. R. M., 136. 

Barnftaple, 115. 

Barrow, John, 139. 

Bavaria, 71. 



Baylies, Dr., 133. 

Beamifh, North Ludlow, 16, 23, 24, 
25, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 34, 37, 39, 


Bede, 72, 73- 
Bedouin Arabs, 115. 
Bergen, 71. 
Biarn or Bjarni, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 

49, 54, 58, 62, 98, 99, 100, 113, 114. 
Bibliographical, 127. 
Biorn Afbrandfon, 123, 124. 
Bjanney, 49, 50, 105. 
Bjarmeland, 70, 71. 
Bjarni Grimolfson, 61, 109. 
Bjorn, 69, 80, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 

9.1, 92, 96. 
Bjorn, Bp., 63. 
Bjorn Haldorfon, 68. 
Blaland, 59. 
Blaferkr, 25. 
Blig, Thord, 86. 
Blue Hills, 116. 
Borgafjord, 25, 94. 
Bork, 79. 
Boru. 77. 
Braavalle, 73. 
Brand, 24. 
Brand, Bp., 63, 69. 
Brande, 118, 120. 
Brattahlid, 25, 27, 31, 36, 43, 44, 45, 

47, 48, 98, 104. 

Breidafjord, 24, 25, 8r, 94, 104. 
Breidavik, 79, 84, 95, 97. 
Breidavikingakappa, Bjorn, 79, 122. 
Breidvikinga, 83. 
Bremen, 68, no. 
Britain, 35, 73, 74. 
Bucanan, Robert, 138. 
Burislaus, 84. 
Buzzard's Bay, 116. 
Byrdufmjor, Bjarni, 46. 

Cabot, John, 19. 

Calendar, Julian, 40. 

Cambrenfis, 76. 

Canute, 118. 

Cape Cod, 114, 116, 119, 137. 

Cape Sable, 114. 

Carlyle, Thomas, 137. 

Carolina, 96, 97, 121. 

Caffiterides, 74. 

Ceallachan Caifil, 77. 

Celtic, 74. 

Celts, 85. 

Charles X., 15. 

Chatham, 115. 

Chaucer, 89. 

Chefapeake Bay, 97, 121. 

Chicago, 137. 

Chrift, 52, 73. 

Chriftiana, Univerfity of, 136. 

Chriftianity, 13, 14, 16, 25, 26, 39, 40, 

44, 52, 7, 76. 
Chriftian IV., 15, 49. 
Chriftian V., 16. 
Chriftians, 73, 74, 75. 
Chriftmas, 104. 
Cimbric, 77. 
Clontarff, 77. 
Collection, Arnas-Magnaean, 17, 44, 

46, 75, 76. 

Columbus, 19, 61, 71, 134, 137. 
Con, 76. 

Conannicut, 120. 
Connecticut, 121. 
Copenhagen, 11, 15, 59, 61, 72, 133, 


Cofmos, 135. 
Crantz, David, 136. 
Cuba, 115. 
Cuvier, 54. 




Danes, Danifli, n, 15, 24, 37, 45, 76, 
77, 104, 112, 118, 125, 127, 128, 129, 


Danforth, Dr., 133. 

Danube, 77. 

Dafent, George Webbe, 138. 

Day, names of portions of by North- 
men, 126. 

De Cofta, B. F., 136. 

Delaware, 121. 

Denmark, 15, 16, 35, 70, 71, 83, 128. 

Dicuil, 73, 74. 

Dighton, ii, 132, 133, 134, 137. 

Digramula, 82. 

Diodorus, 85. 

Db'gurdarnefs, 8l. 

Dolum, 78. 

Drange, 23. 

Drepftock, 27. 

Drontheim, 26. 

Dublin, 62, 76, 80, 92, 95, 123, 124, 

Dufferin, Lord, 139. 

Du Frefnes, 73. 


Eaftfjordifh, 47. 

Eaftman, 76. 

Ebeling, 52. 

Egg Ifland, 116, 119. 

Eider-ducks, 119. 

Einar, 26, 63, 98. 

Einarsfjord, 26. 

Eirin, 74. 

Ellefmere, Earl of, 17, 125, 135. 

England, 70, 131. 

Englifh, 113. 

Erik, Bp., of Greenland, 97. 

Erikfey, 25. 

Eriksfjord, 25, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 63, 

67, 72, 98, 103, 109. 
Erikfon, Leif, 30. 
Erikftad, 24. 
Erik, the Red, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 

3i, 36, 39 44, 45, 46, 47, 49 5, 5 6 
63, 64, 78, 88, 98, 99, 104, 137. 

Erlendfon, Hauk, 18, 46, 63. 

Erlend Sterka, 63. 

Efpihol, 63. 

Efquimaux, 39, 57, 102, 121. 

Ethiopia, 59. 

Europe, 70. 

Everett, Edward, 131, 132. 

Eyra, 83. 

Eyrar, 27. 

Eyrbyggia Saga, 43. 

Eyulf, 24. 

Eyulf Soer, 24. 

Eyvind, 76. 


Fall River, Skeleton in Armor at, 137. 

Faroe Iflands, 74, 75, 139. 

Finmark, 71. 

Finnbogi, 64, 65, 66, 109. 

Flateyenfis, Codex, 17, 23. 

Florida, 97, 121, 122. 

Florida, Straits of, 116. 

Flofe, 63. 

Forfter, John Reinhold, 130. 

Frederick, Bp., 26, 76. 

Frederic III., 15, 17. 

Freydis, or Frydifa, 27, 49, 57, 64, 65, 

66, 67, 104, 108, 109, no. 
Fridgerda, 45, 46. 
Frigga, 52. 
Frifians, 77. 



Frithiof, 49. 

Froda, 79, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 94, 

95, 123, 124. 
Frode, Ari, 74, 78, 122. 
Fru Hallbera, 63. 
Fru Ingigerd, 63. 
Furduftrandir, 72, 105, 106, 114. 
Furduftrands, 51, 53. 
Fyrifvall, 84, 123. 
Fyrifvold, 96. 


Gamlafon, Thorhall, 47, 48. 

Gardar, 24, 70, 72. 

Garde, 27, 64. 

Gardner, Job, 133. 

Gaul, 85. 

Geir Godi, 90. 

Cellar, Thord, 46. 

Georgia, 96, 97, 121. 

German, 31, 35, 68, 99, 101, no, 112, 


Ginnungagap, 72. 

Giffur, 44, 90. 

Glaumbae, 69, no. 

Glaumbaeland, 69. 

Goodwin, 133. 

Gormfon, Harald, 84. 

Gottland, 70. 

Great Ireland, 61, 121. 

Greeks, 32. 

Greenland, 13, 18, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 
29, 30, 33, 35, 39, 40, 43, 44, 45, 46, 
47, 48, So, 52, 63, 64, 66, 67, 70, 71, 
72, 78, 97, 98, 99, 101, 103, 105, 109, 
1 10, 113, 120, 124, 134, 136. 

Greenwood, Dr., 133. 

Grimhild, 41, 42. 

Grimolfson, Bjarni, 47, 49, 104. 

Gripla, 71, 72. 

Grdnland, Hiftorifke Mindefmasrker, 


Grundarketil, 63. 
Gudlaug, 92. 

Gudleif, 78, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96. 
Gudleif Gudlaugfon, 92, 96, 122, 123, 

Gudrid, 36, 40, 41, 42, 43, 48, 49, 58, 

63, 64, 69, 103, 104, 107. 
Gudrun, 63. 
Gulf-Stream, 115, 116. 
Gulf of Mexico, 115. 
Gunnar, 90. 
Gunnbjarnafker, 25. 
Gunnbjbrn, 25. 
Gunnlaug, 79. 
Gurnet Point, 1 16. 
Gyrd, 92. 


Hafgerdingar, 27. 
Hafgrim, 26. 
Hafgrimsfjord, 26. 
Hafrafell, 75. 
Haki, 50, 105. 
Hakluyt Society, 135. 
Hakon, 137. 
Halfrida, no. 
Halla, 63. 
Hallfrid, 63, 69. 
Hallftein, 79. 
Hannoverae, 128. 
Harold, King, 75, 84. 
Harris, Samuel, 132. 
Haugabret, 85. 
Haukadal, 24. 
Hauk Lagman, 63. 
Haukfbdk, 75. 
Head, Sir Edmund, 138. 
Hebrides, 27, 80, 81. 



Hegeland, 26. 

Heimfkringla, 15, 1 7, 44, 45, I 2 9- 

Hekja, 50, 105. 

Helgafell, 78, 80, 8 1, 92, 95. 

Helgafon, 97. 

Helge, 76. 

Helgi, 64, 65, 109. 

Helluland, 31, 50, 70, 72, loo, 105, 113. 

Helfingeland, 70. 

Henderfon, Ebenezer, 139. 

Hergil Neprafs, 76. 

Herjulf, 26, 27, 30, 98. 

Herjulfsfjord, 26. 

Herjulfsnefs, or Heriulfsnes, 26, 27, 

29, 98. 

Herjulfson, Bard, 26. 
Hefthofdi, Thord, 46. 
Hitardal, 24. 
Hitchcock, 114, 117. 
Hjelte, 44. 
Hlymreksfari, 76. 
Hogna, 75. 
Holda, 45. 
Holm, 25. 
Holftein, 71. 
Hdlum, 76. 
Honeydew, 118. 
H<5p, 106, 116, 117. 
Hope, 59, 60, 108. 
Hornftrand, 23. 
Hrafnfgnipa, 25. 
Hraunhbfn, 123. 
Humboldt, Alex. Von, 135. 
Hvidferk, 71. 

Hvftramannaland, 96, 121, 122. 
Hyma, 46. 


Iceland and Icelandic, 13, 15, 16, 17, 
18, 19, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 33, 34, 35, 

43, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 52, 54, 62, 63, 
70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79> 80, 
81, 84, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98, 109, no, 

III, Il6, 120, 122, 123, 124, 125, 
131, 134, 138. 

Icelanders, 9, 13, 43, 64, 74, 78, 80, 93, 

123, 135, 137- 
Illugi, 78. 

Indian, 59, 114, 117, 119, 122. 
Indian corn, nS. 
Ingolf, 23, 26. 
Ingveld, 69. 
Ireland, 62, 70, 76, 92, 95, 96, 106, 

122, 131. 

Ireland, Great, 72, 76, 77, 96, 97. 
Irifh, 45, 46, 61, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 

78, 80, 93, 96, 104, 109, 122, 123, 


Irving, 61. 
Ivar, 76. 


Jaeder, 23. 
Jaerunda, 24.. 
Jamiefon, 43. 
Jarnfid, Bjarni, 46. 
Johnfon, Anngrim, 15. 
Johnfon, Bjorn, 25, 46, 71. 
Jomfborg, 84, 96, 122. 
Jomfvikings, 84, 96. 
Jorund, 63, 78. 
Juvenal, 73. 


Kamb, 79, 80, 87, 88, 89. 

Karlfefne, Thorfinn, 17, 18, 23, 45, 
46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 
58, 59, 60, 63, 64, 67, 68, 69, 70, 96, 



104, 106, 107, 108, 109, 1 10, 116, 

117, 137- 
Katla, 76, 78. 
Keelnefs, 38. 
Keldum, 63. 
Kendall, 133. 
Ketil, 26, 79. 
Ketilsfjord, 26. 
Keyfer, Prof., 136. 
Kjalarnefs, or Kialarnes, 38, 50, 54, 

59, 102, 105, 106, 108, 114, 116. 
Kjartan, 83, 86, 94, 95, 124. 
Kjarval, 46. 

Knarrarbringa, Thorbjb'rg, 24. 
Kneeland, Dr. Samuel, 139. 
Kodran, 26. 
Krage, Ulf, 25. 
Kroflanefs, 39, 103. 
Kvendlands, 70. 

Labrador, 131. 

Lag-thing, 24. 

Laing, Samuel, 15, 17, 44, 45, 129. 

Landna"mab<5k, 63, 75, 77. 

Lappenberg, M., 128. 

Latin, 11, 125, 127, 130. 

Laxdaela Saga, 32. 

Leif, 24, 26, 30, 31, 33, 35, 36, 37, 40, 
43, 44, 45, 47, 64, 65, 67, 70, 77, 
78, 99, 100, 101, 104, 105, 114. 

Leifsbooths, 102, 103, no, 117, 121. 

Leinfter, 77. 

Libyan, 115. 

Lidarend, 90. 

Limerick, 76, 77, 122. 

Linnaeus, 52, 54. 

Lodbrok, Ragnar, 46. 

Lodverflbn, Sigurd, 80. 

London, 129, 131, 134, 135, 136. 
Lower Canada, 113. 
Lull, Edward P., 116. 
Lyfefjord, 40, 103. 


Magnuffen, Prof. Arnas, 16, 17, 132. 

Magnuffbn, Eirikur, 138. 

Magnufen, Finn, 24, 33, 40, 52, 61, 68. 

Major, R. H., 135. 

Mallet, 89. 

Mallet, Paul Henri, 135. 

Man, 80. 

Mar, 76, 78, 90, 91. 

Markland, 31, 50, 61, 70, 78, 100, 105, 

109, 113, 114. 
Mare Oceanum, 72. 
Marfeilles, 73. 

Marfon, Ari, 75, 76, 77, 78, 121, 122. 
Martha's Vineyard, 116. 
Mary, Holy Virgin, 17. 
Maryland, 121. 
Maffachufetts, 52. 
Mather, Dr. Cotton, 133. 
Mazer-tree, no, 118. 
Medallfellftrand, 80. 
Melabdk, 75. 
Metcalfe, F., 139. 
Midjokul, 25. 
Miles, Pliny, 139. 
Monomoy, 115. 
Mont Haup, 117. 
Moore, 62, 77. 
Morris, William, 138. 
Mount Hope's Bay, 116, 117, 120. 
Miiller, Bp., 79. 
Munfter, 76, 77. 
Mufeum, Britifh, 135. 



Nadodd, 24. 

Nan tucket, 114, 120. 

Narratives, Minor, 72. 

Naufet, 114, 115. 

Neil, 77. 

New Brunfwick, 113. 

Newfoundland, 31, 50, 113, 131. 

New Jerfey, 121. 

Newport, n, 117, 137. 

New York, 121. 

Nial, 52. 

Nicholas, St., 72. 

Nidaros, 26. 

Njal's Saga, 138. 

Norie, J. W., 113. 

Norfe, 109, 123. 

Norfk, 35. 

North America, 115, 125. 

North American Pilot, 113. 

Northmen, 9, 10, n, 12, 16, 17, 21, 23, 
24, 29, 32, 34, 36, 52, 62, 68, 73, 74, 
75, 76, 77, 89, 96, 97, 107, 108, 109, 
113, 114, 115, 118, 119, 125, 129, 

13, 131- 

Norway, 13, 15, 16, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 
35, 40, 45, 64, 68, 71, 73, 74, 75, 77, 
80, 83, 98, 109, 1 10, 129, 131, 136, 


Norwegians, 72, 77, 104. 
Notices, Geographical, 70. 
Nova Scotia, 31, 113. 


O'Brien, 74, 77, 85. 
Oddfon, 77. 
Odels-thing, 24. 
Oder, 84. 

Odin, 24, 52, 138. 

Oehlenfchlager, 52. 

CEland, 70. 

CExney, 24. 

O'Halloran, 76, 77. 

Ohio, 121. 

Olaf, King, 26, 44, 45, 50, 72, 84, 92, 

96, 105. 
Olafs, 17. 
Orkneys, 77, 78, 80, 81, 96, 122, 


Orleans, 115. 
Orm, 79, 81. 
Ofvald, 23. 
Otkatla, 78. 
Otte', E. C, 135. 


Palnatoki, 84, 96, 123. 
Papas, 73, 75. 
Papey, 75. 
Papyli, 75. 
Peirce, Prof., 116. 
Percy, Bp., 135. 
Pertz, Geo. Henry, 128. 
Peterfen, N. M., 14, 77, 80. 
Pfeiffer, Ida, 139. 
Phoenician, 132. 
Pigott, Grenville, 52, 138. 
Pliny, 54, 73. 
Pocaflet River, 1 1 7. 
Point Judith, 120. 
Pomerania, 84. 
Ponce de Leon, John, 122. 
Powell, Geo. E. J., 138. 
Prince Society, 21. 
Puerto Bello, 61. 
Pytheas, 73. 




Rafn, Charles Chriftian, 10, II, 12, 22, 
24, 26, 30, 31, 32, 34, 54, 59, 60, 68, 
69, 70, 71, 76, 97, 98, 112, 125, 132, 


Rafn, the duellift, 24. 

Rafn, Limerick merchant, 76, 77, 122. 

Rafnsfjord, 26. 

Raghlin, 77. 

Raunhafnarfos, 84. 

Raunhofn, 85, 89, 92. 

Rechrin, 77. 

Reykjanefs, 27, 75, 78, 122. 

Reynifnefs, 63. 

Review, North American, 131. 

Rhode Ifland, 52. 

Rhode Ifland Historical Society, 10, 

", 133- 
Rimbegla, 59. 
Rjupa, Thorhild, 46. 
Rolf, Duke, 77. 
Romans, 32. 
Rome, 43, no. 
Rugman, 15. 

Runic, Runes, 14, 131, 132, 133. 
Runolf, 69. 
Ryg, Thorvald, 46. 


Sagamen, 14. 

Sagas, 14, 23. 

Saxo, 73. 

Saxons, 77. 

Saxony, 68, 71. 

Scandinavian, 9, 10, n, 16, 17, 20, 21, 

33, 34, 52, 60, 90, 127, 131, 132, 134, 

135, 136- 
Schedae, 74. 

Scotland, 70, 73. 

Scots, 51, 85, 105. 

Scott, Sir Walter, 43, 89. 

Scottifh, 45, 104. 

Scythian, 132. 

Seaconnet, 117, 120. 

Seakings, 136. 

Setftokka, 24. 

Sewall, Stephen, 133. 

Shawanefe Indians, 121. 

Shetland Iflands, 139. 

Siglefjord, 26. 

Sigurd, 77, 81, 83, 96. 

Sigvald, 92. 

Sinding, Paul C, 136. 

Sitaracus, 76. 

Sitric, 62, 76, 77. 

Skagafjord, 68, no. 

Skalholt, 17. 

Skardfo, 46. 

Skraelings, 39, 56, 57, 58, 61, 78, 96, 

1 02, 103, 107, 1 08, 109. 
Skraelingfland, 72. 
Slafter, Edmund F., 22, 116. 
Smith, Jofhua Tolman, 133. 
Snasfells, 79. 
Snaefellfjokul, 25. 
Sne eland, 24. 
Sniofelfnes, 123. 
Snorri or Snorre, 46, 48, 54, 55, 56, 58, 

69, 73, 79, I0 4, 107, 109, 1 10, 123. 
Snorri Godi, 79, 81, 83, 87, 89, 90, 91, 

92, 94, 96, 123. 

Snorri, Karlfefnefon, 60, 63, 69. 
Snorri, Skard, 77. 
Snorri Sturlefon, 60, 123. 
Snowland, 24. 
Scelve, 26. 
Soelvedal, 26. 
Soer, Eyulf, 24. 
Solinus, 73. 



Spaniards, 122. 

Stad, 63. 

Steindlf, 76, 77. 

Steinum, 63. 

Stockholm, 15. 

Straumey, 51, 105, 116. 

Straumfjord, 58, 60, 92, 105, 116. 

Streamfirth, 108. 

Sturlefon Snorro, 15, 60, 123, 129. 

Sturlunger, 77, 92. 

Styrbjorn, 84, 88, 96. 

Sur, 79. 

Svendfon, Brynjulf, Bp., 15. 

Sveyn Eftrithfon, 118, 128. 

Svinoe, 24. 

Sweden, 15, 35, 70, 71, 84, 96, 123. 

Swedes, 77. 

Swedifh, 24, 45, 68, 104. 

Swendfon, Bp., 17. 


Taunton, 117. 

Taunton River, 117, 137. 

Tegner, 49. 

Tellemark, 73. 

Thing, 24. 

Thjodhild, 78. 

Thor, 24, 49, 52. 

Thorbiorn, 24, 40, 49, 63, 79, 81, 104. 

Thorbjorg, 76, 78. 

Thorbjornglora, 26. 

Thorbrandfibn, Helge, 26. 

Thorbrandfon, Snorri, 46, 55, 104. 

Thorbrand Snorrafon, 57, 108. 

Thord, 45, 46, 86, 87. 

Thordarfon, Ion, 17. 

Thordis, 63, 78, 79. 

Thorer, 36, 40, 45, 63. 

Thorer Vidlegg, 81, 82, 83. 

Thoreffon, Ulf-Oxne, 23. 


Thorfinn, 78, 92, 104, 123. 

Thorfinn Ligurdfon, 122. 

Thorgeir, 24, 63, 69, 78. 

Thorgeller, 24. 

Thorgerd, 27, 78. 

Thorgeft, 24. 

Thorgeftlingers, 24. 

Thorgill Kollfon, 78. 

Thorgils, 78. 

Thorgrim, 79. 

Thorgrim Galdrakin, 87. 

Thorgrirafon, Styr, 24, 25. 

Thorhall, 51, 52, 53, 59, 104, 106, 108. 

Thorhallflbn, Magnus, 17. 

Thorhild, 24. 

Thorkafjord, 75. 

Thorkell Gellerfon, 77, 122. 

Thorkelin, Grim, 61. 

Thorlacius, Bp., 34. 

Thorlacius, Birgen, 61. 

Thorlak, 83. 

Thorlak Runolfon, Bp., 63, 69, no. 

Thorodd, 80, 81, 82, 83, 86, 87, 89, 91. 

Thorolf Eyrar Loptfon, 92. 

Thorfnefs, 83. 

Thorfnefthing, 24. 

Thorftein, 27, 40, 41, 42, 43, 103. 

Thorftein Ranglatr, 63. 

Thorum, 46. 

Thorunn, 63, 69. 

Thorvald, 23, 24, 26, 27, 37, 38, 40, 

49 So, 59. 6. I2 - 
Thorvald Kodranfon, 76. 
Thorvald Krok, 63. 
Thorvaldfon, Bertel, fculptor, 60. 
Thorwald, 101, 102, 103. 
Thorward, 104. 
Thule, 73, 74. 
Thurid, 32, 48, 49, 63, 79, 81, 82, 83, 

85, 86, 87, 91, 92, 94, 95, 123, 124. 
Thyle, 73- 



Torfaeus, 46, 68, 129, 130, 131, 136. 

Tryggvius, 26, 105. 

Tyrker, 31, 33, 34, 35, 3^, 99, 101. 


Ulf, 75, 78. 
Ulfter, 77. 
Unipedes, 60. 
Upfala, 84. 
Uflier, Archb., 77. 
Uvaege, 61, 109. 

Vaedrafjordr, 76. 
Val, 81. 
Valgerde, 63. 
Vallancey, Col., 132. 
Valldidida, 61, 109. 
Vathelldi or Vethilldi, 61, 109. 
Vatnahverf, 26. 
Vatfhorn, 24. 
Venezuela, 115. 
Vermeland, 70. 
Vethilldi, 109. 
Vidforla, Eric, 17. 
Vifilfon, Thorbjorn, 24. 
Viga Glum's Saga, 138. 

Vikings, 136. 

Vindingius, P., 130. 

Vinland, 34, 35, 37, 40, 44, 45, 47, 48, 
50, 53, 60, 61, 64, 68, 70, 72, 76, 78, 
99, 101, 102, 103, 104, 1-06, 109, no, 
114, 121, 124, 128, 129, 131. 

Vineyard Sound, 116. 

Vog, 27. 


Waterford, 76, 77. 
Weber, 43. 
Weft Indies, 19. 
Wefterbygd, 105. 
Weftland, 74. 
Weftmen, 75. 
Weftman's Iflands, 80. 
Whale-rock, 120. 
Wheaton, Henry, 131. 
White- Man's- Land, 61, 76, 78. 
William of Normandy, 131. 
Winland, 128. Vide Vinland. 
Winthrop, James, 133. 
Wifconfin, Univerlity of, 137. 
Wood, 74. 
Wormfkiold, 59. 


Yule, 47, 48, 49, 104. 

A 001 237 043 3 

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